Safety Apparel Laws Make Washington State Happy


Safety apparel laws in Washington State are different from your regular custom logoed apparel. It has to be rugged, highly visible, and legal in Washington State. First, OSHA’s safety colors for shirts are three acceptable colors and must pass muster. Brightly colored safety: You can only use Orange, Yellow, or Green colors. On the other hand, safety orange embroidered baseball caps are limited. Workers should wear a safety helmet on a construction site.

All apparel should have reflective striping to increase visibility.

Man wearing a high-visibility reflective safety jacket, with fluorescent yellow upper and black lower half, designed for occupational safety in low-light conditions.
Safety Reflective Jacket

Safety apparel laws in Washington State are generally required and noted in all government contracts. Northwest Custom Apparel complies with associations that write the standards for safety gear. (ISEA is the International Safety Equipment Association, and ANSI is the American National Standards Institute). OSHA is the government agency that will visit Seattle and Tacoma job sites and verify that the project complies. Above all, failure to adhere to set standards can mean heavy fines.

Northwest Custom Apparel represents Port Authority safety apparel. Furthermore, Northwest Custom Apparel’s partnership with Port Authority dates back to 1977 in Seattle. The original name for Northwest Custom Apparel was Northwest Embroidery. We wanted to accommodate Seattle’s construction companies’ interests in custom safety apparel. Equally important, Port Authority safety jackets, t-shirts, and vests meet standards set by accrediting organizations.

High Visibility Safety Apparel

ANSI (American National Standard) classification of ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 sets the flame-resistant (FR) apparel wear standard. Conversely, all safety wear isn’t flame-resistant. However, if the label (ANSI 107) is in the garment, it is flame resistant.

orange hi vis tshirt
Hi-Vis T-Shirts with a 1 color Heat Transfer on Back

Why a specific label

Each piece of safety apparel must have a tag on the collar, which shows that the garment was manufactured according to National Standards.

Equally important, the label eliminates confusion about whether a piece is flame-resistant.  Conversely, safety apparel made with polyester is not flame-resistant. Furthermore, it will melt when coming into contact with an igniter. Above all, Seattle electricians working on high-voltage lines need safety. Equally important, safety gear can’t ignite when working close to a high-voltage line. How many dead squirrels and birds get caught up on power lines?

Orange safety t-shirt with reflective yellow stripes for MITCHELL CONCRETE LLC, featuring a small 'M' logo on the front chest and a large back print with the company name and slogan 'Our Company Strives on Building Relationships on Quality and Honesty,' presented on a grey concrete background.
Men’s Safety Orange T-Shirt with a one-color black print

Custom Safety Gear Store Near Seattle

Since 1977, Northwest Custom Apparel has been Seattle’s supplier of custom-printed safety gear. Safety vests with company logos are available to screen print or heat transfer. Safety green t-shirts are our best sellers and are available with a custom-printed company logo. Uniquely, big-sized safety green t-shirts come in sizes up to 5XL. Furthermore, don’t hesitate to contact us for your FREE safety consulting custom apparel through our customer service team at 1-800-851-3671.

Screen Printing an Orange Safety Stripe T-Shirt

The photo shows a man in a print shop examining an orange high-visibility safety shirt with reflective yellow stripes. The man is wearing a white long-sleeved shirt stained with paint, grey pants, and a black baseball cap, and has long hair. The workspace around him is cluttered with tools, paint cans, and screen printing equipment. It appears he is in the process of or has completed printing on the shirt, which is likely for a company uniform or safety apparel.
Screen Printing Press printing a long sleeve safety orange T-Shirt

Check out Our Showroom Video

Showroom with Safety Apparel

Hi-Vis T-Shirt Educational Video

Jim Mickelson, Owner of Northwest Custom Apparel, Talks Hi-Viz

Related Blogs

We use cookies to improve your experience on our website. By browsing this website, you agree to our use of cookies.
Start typing to see products you are looking for.
0 items Cart
My account

Antonio Massey

Production Team: Folder

Antonio Massey recently joined NWCA in June of 2022. His role on the Production Team has greatly improved our processes and productivity. Antonio is always willing to lift heavy boxes or help his co-workers during busy times. In his free time, he enjoys playing with his dog and mastering video games.


Alicia Wada

Shipping Clerk

Alicia Wada is passionate about helping her co-workers at Northwest Custom Apparel in any way that she can. She works in our Shipping and Logistics department. Alicia, who goes by Ali, has a bachelor’s degree in Applied Mathematics. She lived in Japan for ten years and recently brought her family to America in 2019. She is interested in learning crafts and textile art from around the world.


Erik Mickelson


Erik Mickelson’s position as Manager is more than a job, it’s a passion. It’s always fun and exciting because he enjoys marketing, computers, and coming up with innovative ideas to help NWCA grow. He majored in accounting and finance at Washington State University, graduating in 1996, and returned to school to obtain his Master of Business from WGU, graduating in 2016. Erik continually strives to advance his education through podcasts, audiobooks, and industry tradeshows. He is married to a remarkable and caring wife named Wendy, a Registered Nurse, with whom he shares his many hobbies and a love for the outdoors.



Ruth Nhoung

Production Manager

Ruth Nhoung is our Production Manager and Northwest Custom Apparel is lucky to have her. Thanks to her vast knowledge of machine embroidery and dedication to creating a comfortable and supportive work environment, the production plant runs smoothly and customers are pleased with our work. She is a loving mother and grandmother and enjoys spending quality time with her siblings. She says, “I love everything about Northwest Custom Apparel: the people, the atmosphere, the work, and the customers. I love what I do and I embrace all of NWCA’s core values”.


Steve Deland

Art Director

Steve Deland has been our amazing Artist since 2017. He loves working at Northwest Custom Apparel because he appreciates the goal-oriented, progressive-thinking management style. He is most passionate about his art, which includes scroll saw woodwork, and his five grandchildren.



Taylar Hanson


Taylar Hanson is a highly acclaimed Saleswoman at Northwest Custom Apparel. She has a BA in Apparel, Merchandising, Design, and Textiles from Washington State University. “Go Cougs!” The best part of Taylar’s job is getting to work with longtime customers who trust us to do the best work and take care of their needs. She is passionate about appreciating nature, traveling, and spending time with friends and family.


Nika Lao


Nika Lao is very knowledgeable in how the business is ran because she began as an Embroidery Machine Operator and has worked hard to become the excellent and personable saleswoman she is today. She enjoys the stress-free environment and the many chances to connect with her co-workers over potlucks, BBQs, and bowling parties. Nika is a proud sister of two highly successful brothers and can boast mastering three languages herself: Khmer, Thai, and English. She is an avid camper, enjoys going to farmer markets, and loves cooking.


Bradley Wright


Bradley Wright has been a vital team member of NWCA since 2017. As our accountant and knower-of-all-things, Bradley is proud to work closely with his wonderful colleagues. He studied at the University of Washington. These days he dedicates his free time to his new house.


Dominic Nguyen

DTG Operator

Dominic Nguyen recently joined our Direct-To-Garment department. He says he loves the family work environment at Northwest Custom Apparel. In his free time, Dom likes to listen to music, hangout with friends, and play video games. He comes from a very big family which can be very chaotic at times, but is always exciting.


Sothea Tann

Production Team: Trimmer

Sothea Tann recently joined the Production Team in 2022. She finds Northwest Custom Apparel to be a good working environment with helpful and friendly staff. In her free time, Sothea spends quality time with her family and, overall, focuses on a peaceful and happy lifestyle.


Brian Beardsley

DTG Supervisor

Brian Beardsley has been with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. He is our DTG Supervisor. Brian loves that he gets to work with high-tech machines in a fun atmosphere. He has a bachelor’s degree in Graphic Design. He said, “I always wanted to create visually interesting assets in a variety of mediums”. In his free time, he enjoys building and painting models, playing video games, designing, and playing his guitar.


UT Tri Tran

Embroidery Machine Operator

UT Tri Tran loves Northwest Custom Apparel so much that, although she has already retired after a long career in machine embroidery operations, she is happy to return part time. She says, “I love the family style work environment and how everyone shares food, laughter, and fun on a regular basis.” In her free time she is dedicated to living a healthy and peaceful lifestyle with her friends and family.



Embroidery Machine Operator

BunsereytheavyHoeu, who goes by Theavy, won our Operator of the Year in 2021. She takes on many roles in the production team. She says, “These are not my co-workers, these are my family! I cherish all the memories we make together”. When she goes home to be with her family, she makes the most of her time with them by holding family get-togethers and even karaoke competitions.


Sreynai Meang

Embroidery Machine Operator

SreynaiMeang is a hard-working Machine Operator. She is most passionate about helping people. Sreynai, who goes by Nai, likes to exercise in her free time and talk with her family in Cambodia.


Kanha Chhorn

Embroidery Machine Operator

Kanha Chhorn has been an Embroidery Operator with Northwest Custom Apparel since 2018. She is delightful and always makes everyone smile and laugh. Kanha takes on additional tasks that allow us to exceed our customers’ expectations. In her free time, she can be found at her local temple or spending quality time with her family and friends.


Savy Som

Embroidery Machine Operator

SavySom is one of our Machine Operators who is passionate about embroidery and sewing. She enjoys working at NWCA because of its flexibility. She has two teenage sons and loves spending time with her family on the weekends.



Embroidery Machine Operator

SorphornSorm has been a Machine Operator since 2011. One of her four sisters works here as well. Her other relatives are in Cambodia. In her free time, Sorphorn studies English, listens to music, and enjoys exercising.


Jim Mickelson


Jim Mickelson, after a successful career with a major oil company, founded Northwest Embroidery in 1977. This was the first commercial embroidery in the Pacific Northwest. Over the years, Jim has become the guru of embroidery never refusing to answer a question or offer advice to his fellow embroiders. Jim and his wife Leeanna raised four wonderful children who went on to successful business careers.