Industry Tips, Workwear

ANSI Guidelines and Ratings

NW Custom Apparel is proud to offer Tingley Safety Apparel

NW Custom Apparel is proud to offer Tingley Safety Apparel

Northwest Custom Apparel sells safety vests, and we are asked the question about ANSI rated vests often. Below is brief explanation.

Safety Vests – Guidelines and ANSI Ratings

When working on the job with vehicles or large equipment, it is important to be visible in order to avoid accidents. One of the ways to protect workers is by requiring that employees wear vests that are rated and approved by the American National Standards Institute, or ANSI.

ANSI Rating in a nutshell:  Your requirements could be different, this is only a guideline.

Class 1:

Class 1 safety vests are for workers in low impact areas, where traffic flow does not exceed 25 mph. Parking lot attendants, delivery vehicle drivers, and landscapers that are on a sidewalk, are examples of jobs who would qualify for a class 1 safety vest. These vests should have a mandatory minimum of 155 square inches of reflective tape. Dimensions of the reflective tape can be either 6.46 linear feet of 2 inch tape or 9.39 linear feet of 1 3/8 inch tape. The reflective stripes should be around the middle in a 360º stripe and above each shoulder. Vests should be either a safety yellow or safety orange color.

Class 2:

Heavier traffic situations require a Class 2 vest. Workers who experience poor visibility due to weather will need a more reflective Class 2 safety vest. Class 2 vests will have a minimum of 201 square inches of reflective tape that is 2 inches in diameter. Dimensions of the reflective tape can be 8.373 linear feet of 2-inch tape or 12.2 linear feet of 1 3/3 inch tape. Examples of jobs that require Class 2 vests are airport baggage handlers and ground crew, forestry workers, high-volume parking or toll-gate personnel and law enforcement personnel. Reflective stripes will be over the shoulders and round the middle in either one or two 360º horizontal stripes.

Class 3:

Jobs that require workers to be the most visible are ones that put people in close contact with heavy traffic and equipment. High risk jobs include accident site investigators, emergency responders, railway workers, utility workers, dock workers, and survey/flagging crews. These workers will often be close to traffic exceeding 50 miles an hour. Class 3 safety vests and garments must have a minimum of 310 square inches of reflective tape that is 12.92 linear feet and 2-inches thick. Class 3 garments also provide more coverage to the arms and legs than do class 1 and class 2 safety vests.

To confirm that you are choosing the correct ANSI rating for your situation, please contact your Safety Manager at your office or job site.


About Erik Mickelson

Erik Mickelson is the author of Northwest Custom Apparel's blogs. Erik has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 1996 after graduating from Washington State University and is the founder of the Apparel Graphic Academy. Trained by the custom graphic apparel industry's best, Mark Venit, Erik brings a wealth of knowledge and expertise to the Embroidery Adventure blog. As they say, 'Experience is the best teacher.' We are proud to have Erik as part of our team!

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