OSHA Safety Vest Requirements and ANSI Standards for Class I, II and III Safety Vests

The first thing that most drivers see when they are approaching a roadside construction or emergency zone are those brightly colored vests. While the colors can be on the bright side, they serve an extremely important purpose - to keep workers safe. In 2010, The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) updated their standard for high-visibility safety apparel, the updated standard is now known as ANSI/ISEA 107-2010. The updates to the old standard address vests that call for high visibility, flame-resistance, water repellency and functionality. These are all important factors as a once-size-fits-all vest is not the case for all roadside workers. For instance, the vest worn by an emergency responder should be more functional than one that is worn by a construction worker directing traffic.

While most think that safety vests are for roadside construction workers and emergency responders only, they also serve a purpose in other work areas. Any work areas where oncoming vehicles or equipment could potentially harm or hit a worker calls for the use of a high visibility safety vest, such as a parking lot attendant. In order to stay within OSHA requirements, workers need to wear specific high visibility safety vests. Specific vests are also now a requirement by the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA). Here are a look at the three classes of safety vests and what you need to know.

ANSI Class I Vests -

Class I garments worn are intended for occupational activities where the worker has ample separation from approaching traffic. Vehicles and moving equipment used in these areas should not exceed speeds of 25 mph, and the worker should be in a position to give his full attention to all oncoming traffic. Class I safety vests are ideal for occupations such as parking attendants and shopping cart retrievers.

ANSI Class II Vests -

Class II garments worn are for workers who need greater visibility due to these factors: potential bad weather, vehicle or equipment speeds that exceed 25 mph, tasks that take attention away from traffic and/or activities that take place close to traffic. Class II vests provide protection for occupations that include crossing guard and airport ground crew.

ANSI Class III Safety Vests and Hi Vis Clothing -

Class III garments offer the highest level of visibility and have sleeves that provide protection to the arms as well as the torso. These vests are intended for situations where the worker has a high task load and is exposed to high speeds and/or limited sight distances. A Class III safety vest provides visibility through the full range of body motions from a distance of at least 1280 feet. Emergency responders, road construction workers and survey crews are some of the individuals that require Class III safety clothing.

While avoiding unnecessary fines and penalties from OSHA are a large concern for employers, an even larger concern is the safety of their workers. Let Affordable Uniforms Online keep you compliant, while also keeping your workers safe and out of harm's way.