ANSI Safety Apparel Information

ANSITo address the hazards of low worker visibility during the day, in low-light conditions, and at night, International Safety Equipment Association members developed ANSI/ISEA 107-2010: the American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel

The ANSI/ISEA standard establishes a set of performance criteria and provisions for the selection, design, and use of high visibility safety apparel. The standard defines three garment classes based on designs utilizing amounts of precisely specified garment background material and retroreflective material. It also provides guidelines to help purchasers select the appropriate garment based on an assessment of worker hazards and tasks, complexity of the work environment or background, and vehicular traffic and speed.

Class 1 garments are intended for use in activities that permit the wearer's full and undivided attention to approaching traffic. There should be ample separation of the worker from traffic, which should be traveling no faster than 25 miles per hour.

Examples of workers who use Class 1 garments may include:

  • Parking lot attendants;
  • People retrieving shopping carts from parking lots;
  • Workers exposed to warehouse equipment traffic; and
  • Situations where prevailing regulations do not require Class 2 or Class 3 garments.


Class 2 garments are intended for use in activities where greater visibility is necessary during inclement weather conditions or in work environments with risks that exceed those for Class 1. Garments in this class also cover workers who perform tasks that divert their attention from approaching traffic, or that put them in close proximity to passing vehicles traveling at 25 miles per hour or higher.

Examples of workers who use Class 2 garments may include:

  • Forestry operations;
  • Roadway construction, maintenance, utility, and railway workers;
  • School crossing guards;
  • Delivery vehicle drivers with significant roadway exposure;
  • High-volume parking and toll gate personnel;
  • Airport baggage handlers/ground crew;
  • As a primary or supplemental garment for emergency response and law enforcement personnel; and;
  • Refuse collection and recycling operations.


Class 3 garments provide the highest level of visibility in the ANSI standard, and are intended for workers who face serious hazards and often have high task loads that require attention away from their work. Garments for these workers should provide enhanced visibility to more of the body, such as the arms and legs.

Examples of workers who use Class 3 garments may include:

  • Roadway construction or maintenance personnel and flaggers
  • Utility workers;
  • Survey crews;
  • Emergency response personnel; and
  • Towing operators.


These Performance Class Guidelines are provided as guidance only. Certain specific conditions such as environment, weather, level of training, site-detection distances, regulations, proximity to vehicles, and competing hazards in emergency situations should be considered. Vehicle speed should not be considered in isolation to these factors. PPE properties such as background color should be selected to optimize contrast between the wearer and the work environment. The 2009 MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) requires (1) Class 2 or 3 high visibility apparel for workers on or near public roadways who are not emergency responders, and (2) a risk assessment performed by a qualified safety professional to determine the appropriate garment class.

This information is adapted from ISEA/ANSI 107-2010 Appendix B.

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