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Classes of Hi-Vis Clothing

Hi-Vis Jacket

High-visibility clothing is a must in some work environments – think construction, on the flight line and in asset recovery operations – but there are different levels of hi-vis apparel. Each of the three classes, created by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), fits certain risk levels. Most employers, and in some cases the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), require workers in risky professions to wear Class 1, Class 2 or Class 3 visibility apparel. Supplemental items feed into Class E reflective apparel, which provides the highest level of visibility. In addition to the three classes, there are three official types: Type O, Type R and Type P. Each refers to different professions that are using hi-vis or reflective apparel, including high-visibility jackets, hi-vis parkas, and other clothing.

What Are the Three ANSI Hi-Vis Classes?

The following are the three main ANSI hi-vis classes: • Class 1. Class 1 is for off-road use and provides the lowest level of protection. It’s often used by parking attendants, warehouse workers and people working off the roadway. • Class 2. Class 2 is for roadway use and provides a moderate level of protection. This class is typically best for school crossing guards, airport ground crews and people who are directing traffic in an official capacity. • Class 3. Class 3 is also for roadway use, but it provides the highest level of protection. It’s effective for road construction workers, utility workers, survey crews and emergency responders, as well as other people who work near traffic.

Type O, Type R and Type P Visibility Garments

Aside from the ANSI hi-visibility classes, there are several types of hi-vis garments designed for specific professions. You’ll find a wide range of apparel that fits into each type, including vests, jackets, and parkas. Here’s a breakdown of each type:

  • Type O. Type O apparel is designed for workers who aren’t required by OSHA to wear hi-vis garments, but who still work in hazardous environments where visibility is a concern.
  • Type R. Type R garments are for workers who are exposed to traffic or those who work in a place with moving equipment or vehicles.
  • Type P. Type P apparel is typically designed for police, fire and EMS personnel who deal with roadway hazards and other hazards. 

Use

Off-road Workers

Roadway Workers

Fire, Police and EMS Professionals

Type

O

R

P

Class

1

2

3

2

3

Background Material Required

217 in²

540 in² or 775 in². Only apparel for small workers can use as little as 540 in².

1,000 in² or 1,240 in². Only apparel for small workers can use as little as 1,000 in².

450 in²

775 in²

Retroreflective Material Required

155 in²

201 in²

310 in²

201 in²

310 in²

Width Minimum for Retroreflective Tape or Material

1 in

1.38 in

2 in

2 in

2 in

Finding Hi-Vis Clothing for Your Job

The right hi-vis clothing meets ANSI and OSHA requirements, as well as your employer’s – and it keeps you warm, dry and comfortable, like the 3-in-1 Reversible High-Visibility Parka or the First Responder™ High Visibility Jacket.  

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