When it comes to choosing high-quality, ANSI compliant safety gear, not just any vest will do. ANSI compliant safety gear needs to meet certain stringent specifications set by the American National Standards Institute for both the amount of background and reflective material, and the characteristics of the background and reflective material. Each class of ANSI garment has different requirements for the reflective and background material. Here we look at the specific ANSI Class reflectivity requirements for the reflective tape on ANSI garments of different classes.
Reflectivity Requirements for ANSI
Garments at each different ANSI level have different requirements for both the brightly colored background material and reflective tape. When it comes to the reflective tape used on ANSI garments, there are a number of specifications, and not just any reflective tape can be used. The tape must be a retro-reflective tape independently verified in a lab to meet ANSI standards.
The retro-reflective tape used on ANSI compliant garments must return a relatively high level of light in the same direction that it came from. This retro-reflective tape is therefore generally made from either a prismatic reflective surface, or a glass bead reflective surface to return maximum amounts of light. ANSI compliant tape must feature this specific structure and cannot simply be ‘reflective’.
Retro-reflective tape provides the right level of reflective brightness to meet ANSI safety standards. In a lab environment, this brightness can be actually measured for high quality retro-reflective materials as candlepower (candela) or lumens.
ANSI Class Level 1 Reflectivity Requirements
ANSI class level 1 represents the lowest risk level in a working environment, and therefore has the lowest requirements for reflectivity. The ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 standard states that level 1 ANSI class garments require a minimum of 155 in² of verified retro-reflective tape at a minimum width of 1 inch. Furthermore, ANSI compliant garments must have retro-reflective tape provide 360° visibility with horizontal gaps of only 50mm or less.
ANSI Class Level 2 Reflectivity Requirements
ANSI class level 2 garments are suitable for roadway work environments of moderate risk. For ANSI class 2 garments, at least 201 in² of retro-reflective material is required at a minimum width of 1.38 inch, or 1 inch for split trim designs. The same visibility requirements are necessary for the larger class 2 garments, and the garment design and tape placement should reflect human form (ie, shoulder area trim placement).
ANSI Class Level 3 Reflectivity Requirements
ANSI Class level 3 provides the highest level of specifications for the greatest risk level in roadway work environments. ANSI class 3 garments require a minimum of 310 in² of retro-reflective tape at a minimum width of 2 inchs (or 1inch for split trim designs).
Not only do ANSI compliant garments need to meet the minimum requirements for retroreflective material in their design and construction, the design or any added logos and printing can\’t obscure the minimum amount of reflective or background material. It is evident that the highest quality and most stringent conditions need to be met by both the garment producer and the custom screen printer, so it\’s essential to choose a knowledgeable and experienced provider.
If you need high quality ANSI Class reflectivity compliant gear for your workplace, and you would like it custom screen printed or embroidered, talk to us today about balancing the best of ANSI standards and design for your business.
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