High Visibility Apparel Essential to Protecting Workers

April 10, 2019

High visibility apparel must be worn by those in various professions, including construction workerspolice officers, and utility linemen. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) sets forth standards and performance criteria for workers in such high-risk professions. However, recently there has been an increased demand for high visibility apparel even among industries and occupations that are not required to meet ANSI standards, such as indoor warehouse personnel, venue security, and special event volunteers.

Types of High Visibility Garments

High visibility apparel is a type of personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to make the wearer more visible. This is especially critical in work zones. It must generally be comprised of background fluorescent fabric and retroreflective tape. The fluorescent fabric makes the wearer more visible in daylight and the retroreflective tape makes them more visible at night.

Road Construction Site Workers

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) reports that struck-by accidents are one of the four leading causes of construction worker fatalities. For those who work at road construction sites, being struck by a vehicle or mobile equipment is the leading cause of fatal occupational injuries, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS). High visibility clothing is an effective strategy for reducing these deaths because many are attributable to lack of visibility.

ANSI Classification

The ANSI classifies high visibility garments according to the type of work being performed and the risks associated with the workplace. There are four basic types of high visibility garments:

  • Class I – Vest to be worn by off-road workers who pay undivided attention to traffic not exceeding 25 miles per hour. Such workers include parking attendants and shopping cart attendants.
  • Class II – This vest is designed for those who work in inclement weather and whose attention may be divided between oncoming traffic and other activities. Examples of such workers include roadway construction workers and utility workers.
  • Class III – Workers who are exposed to high speed traffic or other conditions that reduce visibility must wear a Class III long-sleeved shirt and pants. These garments should be worn by workers such as flaggers and emergency responders.
  • Class E – Class E pants or shorts can be combined with either a Class II or Class III top creates a Class III ensemble. For example, workers may wear a Class II vest during the day and add Class E pants at night.

Proper Wear for High Visibility Apparel

The American Road & Transportation Builders Association (ARTBA) provides some guidance for wearing high visibility apparel. Their recommendations include:

  • Be sure to read the label when purchasing to ensure garments comply with ANSI standards
  • Do not modify garments
  • Ensure garments are the correct size for the wearer
  • Care for garments to keep them in clean condition and replace them when worn or dirty
  • Keep vests and jackets closed to ensure 360-degree visibility

Reading Workers’ Compensation Lawyers at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Represent Workers Injured in Struck-By Accidents

If you were injured in a struck-by accident on the job, contact a Reading workers’ compensation lawyer at Larry Pitt & Associates, P.C. Our skilled attorneys can assist you in claiming the benefits to which you are entitled, including medical expense and wage loss compensation. Contact us online or call 888-PITT-LAW today to arrange a free consultation.

We have several office locations to assist clients throughout Southeastern Pennsylvania, including those in Berks CountyBucks CountyChester CountyDelaware CountyMontgomery County, and Philadelphia County, as well as the communities of Abington, Ambler, Ardmore, Bala Cynwyd, Bensalem, Clifton Heights, Crum Lynne, Darby, DowningtownDoylestownDrexel Hill, Essington, FolcroftGlenoldenHaverford, Havertown, HolmesKutztown, Lansdowne, Media, Merion Station, Morton, Narberth, Norristown, Norwood, Philadelphia, Prospect Park, Quakertown, Reading, Roxborough, Sharon Hill, Upper Darby, West Chester, and Wynnewood.