Every year, many workers on jobsites in General Industry and Construction are killed or seriously injured because they aren’t visible to equipment operators or drivers on the road in construction zones. Whether your employees work in a warehouse or in a work-zone during construction operations, safety vests must meet specific requirements per OSHA.
The industry uses a consensus standard from ANSI to certify that PPE has an adequate fluorescent color and reflective properties, depending on the type of work employees are involved in.
In general, the industry recognizes three types of high-visibility apparel:
Made with the least reflective material; can be used by employees with low struck-by hazards.
Made with a bit more reflective material to protect work-zone employees like flaggers.
Made with the most reflective material to protect employees in high-risk struck-by areas.
SEE THE DIFFERENCE- CLASS 2 VS. CLASS 3
CLASS 2; TYPE R & P
Background Material: 217 in²
Required Reflective Material Material: 155 in²
CLASS 3; TYPE R & P
Background Material: 1240 in²
Required Reflective Material: 310 in²
There is a fourth class called “Class E” safety apparel. Employers can combine Class 2 apparel (tops) with Class E apparel (bottoms) to create a Class 3 ensemble. It’s a cool trick you can use to meet the ANSI requirements!
No matter the type of apparel, however, you need to work with employees to ensure that their high-vis apparel is in good repair and protects against the right hazards before each use. After all, the goal is always to ensure employees return home at the end of the day!