What are those acronyms?

ANSI: American National Standards Institute

ISEA: International Safety Equipment Association

HVSA: High Visibility Safety Apparel

What’s ANSI/ISEA 107-2015?

In 2015, the revised ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 created an all-inclusive standard for safety garments by combining the two requirements, the American National Standard Institute for High Visibility Safety, or the ANSI/ISEA 107, and the Public Safety Vest classification, or the ANSI/ISEA 207. 

Thankfully, by combining these requirements, the safety industry has now established one comprehensive document that addresses how garments are to be classified in regards to “Type” of garment and “HVSA Performance”.

Classification of Safety Garments

When you’re looking to purchase safety garments there are two things to be aware of, “Performance Class” and “Type”.

The first thing to be aware of is “Performance Class” which focuses on the garment’s visibility and retroreflective material.  If you want to learn more on how ANSI rates safety garments, take a look at the requirements stated under ANSI/ISEA 107-2015.

Then there’s the “Type” of garment which is divided into three categories, “Type O” (off road), “Type R” (roadway) and “Type P” (public safety). 

Type O (Off-road):

  • So when you're looking for a safety vest, to wear for workers retrieving grocery carts in a parking lot, then a “Type O” safety vest might be what you're looking for.

  • "Type O" safety vests are usually used in areas with traffic moving 25mph or less—the "Type O" safety vest is not recommended to be used as a safety garment while working on roadways, or highways.

  • Keep in mind, safety garments that are classified as HVSA Class 1, are typically used by parking lot attendants, store clerks, tour guides, etc.

Type R (Roadways):

  • Now here’s the safety garment rating that are used by those working in public access areas that involve a high volume of moving traffic, such as roadways, highways, airport runways, or temporary traffic control (TTC).  Construction work zones are also where the “Type R” safety garments are used.

  • Safety garments rated “Type R” are also classified as HVSA Class 2 or Class 3 and are often used by those who work on roadsides, construction zones, or on any type of job site where keeping workers visible is a must. 

  • Other areas where “TYPE R” safety vests are used are in areas where moving traffic is traveling at speeds over 25mph, work areas with poor visibility, or low light conditions.

Type P (Public safety):

  • The last category are the “Type P” safety garments.  This category is specifically for Public Safety personnel.  These garments have an HVSA Performance Class of 2 & Class 3

  • Public Safety personnel have a “type” of their own to help personnel be easily identified in case of an emergency.

HVSA Performance: Class 1, 2, 3 and Class E

Did you know how a safety garment gets its “class” rating?  Well, it all has to do with the amount of background material and retroreflective material used.

Safety garments that are rated Class 1 have the least amount of retro-reflective material while Class 3 safety garments are made with the most retroreflective material.

If you take a look at the different types of safety garments, you will notice the some have more retroreflective then others, resulting in the Performance Classes of 1, 2, and 3. 

Which Class to wear?

If you’re trying to figure out which “class” safety garment suits your needs, a tip would be Class 1 can be used in low-risk work conditions, while Class 2 & 3 should be used in high risk work condition.

Supplemental Class E

This brings us to the supplemental Class E safety garments category which refers to the use of leg gaiters.

The design of leg gaiters is no different from other safety garments.  Leg gaiters must be designed with HiVis background material and retroreflective material that meet ANSI requirements.

What’s great is when a Class E lower garment is worn together with a Class 2 upper garment, the set gets rated as Performance Class 3.  Yup, by combining the two safety garments, the total amount of retroreflective material as a set becomes Class 2 rated. 

Nonetheless, the upper garment is required to have more retroreflective material.

Have a Better Understanding?

We hope we helped you have better understanding of a safety garments Class and HVSA Performance.  A simple rule of thumb for keeping safe is, the more retroreflective and high visibility material you wear, the more visible you will be—being visible helps to keep you safe.

So, keep yourself and workers visible while out on the roads or at busy work zones.

If you’re unsure of what type of safety garment you need to
be wearing, check with your local agencies for requirements.  All in all, the higher the class, the more
visible you are.  Safety first, stay

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