ANSI Safety Vest Requirements for Workers
An ANSI safety vest is required by a number of workers, such as road crew workers, school crossing guards, traffic patrolmen, surveyors, and others who need the additional layer of safety that comes from alerting oncoming vehicles to their presence. Whether you need to purchase updated safety equipment or just want to evaluate what you have, consider these features of the ANSI safety vest and why they are important. Not only will this vest serve to keep workers safe, in many cases, it’s the law.
The first requirement for an approved safety vest is that it has Velcro or snap enclosures. This ensures that if the garment is snagged by a car, debris, or anything else encountered during operation, it will easily detach from the wearer, rather than hinder their movement. For instance, if a truck bumper snags a worker’s ANSI safety vest, it will simply pull the vest off, rather than drag the worker.
Traffic workers and road crews work in all types of weather during all hours of the day. Thus, it is imperative that visibility is a top consideration when choosing the color of your workers’ vests. Typically, you’ll find the best ANSI safety vest colors to be a neon orange or yellow, signaling to any driver that a worker is in the road and caution must be taken as they approach the area. Another feature that aids visibility is reflective strips that will catch headlights, particularly for those working at night.
The OSHA rule is that the worker be visible from a minimum of 1,000 feet.
Each type of worker that needs an ANSI safety vest will have other considerations that make wearing the vest a benefit and not a burden. For instance, officers that wear a vest will need to ensure that the cut allows for easy access to their sidearm, flashlight, and handcuffs. EMTs also carry essential equipment and materials on their person, so the shape of the vest must accommodate.
In 2009, OSHA released an update to the 2000 DOT regulation about who would be required to wear an ANSI safety vest. This new regulation requires any and all workers that may be exposed to public traffic or construction site vehicles must adhere to these high visibility safety apparel requirements.