As a non-profit organization that is responsible for the growth of standards consensus for systems, processes, apparel and products in the US, the American National Standards Institute is more commonly referred to as ANSI. The ANSI classes were created by the institute to help group and separate the varying types of high-visibility garments. The rules were implemented by an Occupational Safety and Health Administration statement in 2009, which laid out the sort of workers who would need to wear protective clothing when in the workplace. The statement put into law regulations which were previously up for interpretation and since this point, all workers defined in the statement have to wear the relevant high-visibility clothing.
How are the classes determined?
The ANSI classification of a high-vis garment is determined by the total area of high-vis material, and the safety requirements of individual situations. Put simply, the higher the ANSI class, the larger the area of high-vis material that needs to be on the garment. This is decided by the amount of risk that the workers are put under, and therefore the amount of protection and visibility that they need. For a riskier situation, you’ll need a safer garment, and therefore a higher class.
What are the different ANSI classes?
There are three different classes within the ANSI classification system in regards to high visibility garments that need to be worn by workers. These are Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3.
Class 1 ANSI Safety Vest
Class 1 garments are worn by those workers within industries of a low-risk factor. Generally, such jobs are kept well away from a roadway, and any close traffic is traveling at 25mph or below. Such jobs are typically in residential neighborhoods or in other safe areas, such as a significant distance away from roads and non-complex work environments.
Class 1 ANSI jackets are either safety orange or safety yellow in color, and are designed to protect the torso and ensure that the midriff of workers is visible; protective sleeves are not a requirement for Class 1 work environments. Class 1 garments have, at a minimum, 155 square inches of safety reflective tape. These relatively minimal requirements are in place because at such low speeds, drivers are very easily able to avoid getting into accidents with workers on the site.
For simple high-vis protection, check out this hook and loop vest.
Class 2 ANSI Safety Vest
Class 2 ANSI jackets are worn by those that work in areas or industries with a higher level of risk than the predecessor class. Regarding speed, any involved or nearby vehicles must be traveling at
no greater speeds than 50mph. These are designed to give a better definition of the human figure so drivers can be aware that there’s a person in the road, and are considered the minimum standard for workers at the roadside to be safe.
The types of jobs where a Class 2 high-vis garment is worn include school crossing guards, survey crews, and airport baggage handlers. As the risk is greater, these jackets are larger than Class 1 garments. They must include a minimum of 201 square inches of reflective tape, and at least 775 square inches of material in either safety orange or safety yellow.
Why not try this Class 2 compliant vest?
Class 3 ANSI Safety Vest
Class 3 ANSI safety vests are worn by those working in only the most dangerous conditions. Such workers need to be seen from viewing distances of at least 1,280 feet so high-speed drivers can avoid the workers in the case that they are in the road; from this distance, all motions across the full body need to be able to be seen.
Class 3 garments need to be worn by workers in environments where traffic is moving at an excess of 50mph. Such jobs include working on a highway, or at airports where a variety of vehicles might be moving around at high speed. The requirement for a Class 3 high-vis doesn’t just come from the speed of nearby vehicles, but Class 3 high-vis jackets should also be worn when working in dangerous weather conditions, for instance in hail or during a hurricane. Because of this, employees in the emergency relief sector and tow truck operators should also wear Class 3 garments.
Regarding material coverage, a Class 3 jacket is the largest of the three ANSI types. 1,240 inches of safety orange or safety yellow material is required as a minimum, as well as at least 310 square inches of reflective tape. Due to it needing to provide significantly more protection than the previous two types, a Class 3 jacket must have sleeves, more closely resembling a t-shirt or sweatshirt than a vest. This is so drivers can properly see the workers ahead of them and take action to avoid them.
For full protection, take a look at this Class 3 full-sleeved garment!
What products do we stock?
Build Your Own Garment stocks ANSI high-vis garments in all three classes, from 1 to 3. These include personalized high-vis garments featuring your company’s logo up to Class 2 of the ANSI standards. Alongside high-vis garments, BYOG offers a further selection of safety equipment, including hard hats and safety glasses. BYOG also offers a wide variety of non-safety clothing and equipment, including customizable company sweatshirts that go perfectly under a high-vis at a cold worksite.
If your company needs customizable high-visibility garments, get in contact with BYOG. Our expert team has years of experience in customized safety garments and can help your company in the design and creation of your own business’ apparel. BYOG’s services include creating branded goods for your company, supplying safety garments and equipment, and supporting you to make your own shirts to keep your company unified and on-brand.
If you’re interested in any of these specialized services, get in touch for a quote today – you can use our live chat, call us, request a quote or simply use our online design tool!