Just as one may avoid unapproved medications, there are also reasons to avoid protective workwear that lack necessary safety distinctions. Personal safety is essential for those working in hazardous conditions. Lack of safety on protective gears may lead to workers injured which may lead into a personal injury case. Finding workwear that maximizes safety, however, requires an understanding of high visibility standardization.
ANSI is the abbreviation for the American National Standards Institute, a non-profit that governs safety guidelines for personal protective workwear. PPE standards (personal protective equipment) correlate to the degree of protection that is necessary for different types of work. The organization takes the guesswork out of selecting the safest workwear.
Finding safety clothing that protects workers on the job is the priority of ANSI; this is accomplished by the approval ratings it lists for protective apparel. If you are looking for protective hi vis workwear, consider the following information on ANSI-compliant workwear. Your safety should always come first!
Choosing Hi Vis Workwear
The standards used to review high visibility clothing are consistent across industries. The specific standard that dictates high visibility for protective gear is ANSI 107-2020. You want to see this standard listed on the label of any workwear you’re considering purchasing so you can determine the safety level of the hi vis workwear option.
Check Safety Standards
Your employer may require that you wear ANSI-approved garments, so be sure to check the label before purchasing your safety clothing. Not all safety clothing meets ANSI standards, and those that do not, will not have ANSI labeling. Even if the items you find indicate hi vis workwear, if the label is not present, these items do not meet ANSI standards.
Understanding The Labels
You can generally find the ANSI label on the neck or wrist area of the garment. Depending on the manufacturer, the label placement may vary. ANSI standards of safety frequently change. You should only purchase workwear with labels that meet the latest hi vis ANSI standards.
Classifications To Know
The hi vis workwear you consider will be classified by Type O, Type R, or Type P. Each of these classifications indicate the kind of work and the degree of high visibility that is needed. They are as follows:
- Type O- warehouse workers
- Type R- roadwork employees
- Type P- safety employees
There are also specific classes that indicate the visibility standards related to the type of work. They are as follows:
- Class 1, Type O work
- Class 2, Type R or Type P
- Class 3, Type P or Type R
- Class E, high-visibility accessories
Some high visibility clothing is flame-resistant, as indicated by “FR.”
Garment Care Instructions
Review the care instructions on the label to keep your garments clean and functional. Pictograms are used to indicate the laundry care required. Many hi vis workwear items cannot be dry-cleaned but check the instructions for your gear to be sure.
Get The Right Gear
Finding the best hi vis workwear for job safety is much easier with ANSI labels. That being said, there are counterfeits, so keep an eye out for credible suppliers and get the right gear!