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The Airport Safety Store Reflective Safety Vest Buyers Guide

Wearing a high visibility and/or reflective safety vests is a requirement in many industries. While some occupations do not require people to wear reflective safety vests, being easily seen by motorist or co-workers is never a bad thing. Here are just a few occupations and pastimes that benefit from wearing a high visibility and/or reflective safety vest:
  • Construction workers (road and building)
  • Flaggers
  • Crossing Guards
  • Police, Fire and Emergency First Responders
  • Oil refinery, airline and transportation workers
  • Surveyors
  • Motorcyclists, bicyclists and runners or pedestrians

What type of vest do you need?
Developed in June 1999 by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and published by the American National Standards Institute, Inc. (ANSI) a standard known as ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 set forth the standard for the design and performance of “High Visibility Safety Apparel”. This standard was then modified in 2004 to the current standard known as 107-2004.

The standard is based on years of testing and evaluation of both reflective and fluorescent materials to determine what will provide the greatest visibility of the wearers and make them easier to be seen. Studies indicate that people who are wearing an ANSI 107 compliant apparel (vest or T-shirt) are much less likely to be injured or killed by moving vehicles or equipment than those who are wearing non compliant apparel. This dramatic increase in safety has led many regulatory bodies such as the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) to begin requiring all workers on ANY federally funded roadway to wear ANSI 107-2004 compliant apparel. This new requirement affects virtually every organization that has personnel on America’s roadways.

What are the ANSI 107-2004 Classifications?
  • Class 1: These vests or T-shirts have the least amount of high-visibility background material (217 in2), the minimum reflective material (155 in2) and are generally reserved for low-risk situations, such as supermarket cart attendants and indoor workers in good light. They are not recommended in situations near traffic and, as a result, we at Airport Safety Store do not carry any Class 1 reflective safety vests.
  • Class 2: These vests or T-shirts have more high-visibility background material (775 in2), almost 30% more reflective material (201 in2) and afford significantly more visibility than Class 1 vests or T-shirts. The higher performance of a Class 2 reflective vest r T-short is critical in conditions where traffic speed is an issue, where visibility is poor and/or where it can be difficult for drivers to differentiate the wearer from a complex background. Crowd security, warehouse and airline workers, most non-traffic construction workers, crossing guards and some emergency responders are sufficiently protected by Class 2 reflective safety vests and T-shirts.
  • Class 3: These contain the highest amount of more high-visibility background material (1,240 in2), the most reflective material (310 in2) reflective material and are used in areas where heavy traffic and high speed are likely. They are also excellent in areas where low light and/or adverse weather is common. Flaggers and roadway construction crews should be given only Class 3 reflective safety vests and T-shirts.

Design considerations, Vest vs. T-Shirt?
By far, the most popular style “High Visibility Safety Apparel” is traditional safety vests. While Airport Safety Store carries numerous styles of both safety vests and T-shirts, all of the Class 2 and Class 3 vests and T-Shirts we carry have at least one 360o retro reflective band encircling the torso. This is an important improvement over the older ‘bid’ style of vests (which we do not carry) as it ensures that even if the wearer is turned sideways to the driver, the retro reflective stripe is visible.

Whether your preference is for a vest or a T-shirt, Airport Safety Store offers numerous styles of ANSI 107-2004 'High Visibility Safety Apparel' to choose from, all in stock for immediate shipment.

Do you want?

Logos and Custom Vest Lettering
With an in-house graphic arts department and lettering equipment, no one can beat Airport Safety Store when it comes to lettered vests or vests and T-shorts with custom logos. Please call our sales department at 800-249-4482 to discuss your custom vest requirements.