High-Visibility Clothing – Are You Protected?

High-visibility clothing started in the highway industry where workers were exposed to vehicle traffic and needed to be seen in all light conditions. Today, high-visibility clothing is worn in any situation where we want visibility on a worker and can be required on all construction projects to bring attention to the user.

Whether you are a construction worker, highway crew person, a bicycler, runner, or even a walker, you need to be protected when exposed to vehicle traffic. All garments should be clean, intact with no visible damage and the reflect ability should be tested periodically to verify it has not faded or become soiled.

All high-visibility clothing must meet the requirements of ANSI 107 standard that requires the garment to meet bright background coloring with the appropriate square inches required by the Class, retro-reflectivity in varied light conditions and have 360 degree visibility. Garments are rated as Class 1, 2, or 3 depending on the exposed work situation.

Class 1 has the least amount of fluorescent and retroreflective trim, while Class
3 safety clothing has the most. To fulfill the requirements of Class 1, workers can wear a harness made of combined performance (reflective and fluorescent) material.


  • For workers in occupations that permit full and undivided attention to approaching traffic
  • When work backgrounds are not complex
  • When pedestrian workers are separated from traffic
  • When vehicles are moving at speeds not exceeding 25 mph


  • Parking lot attendants
  • Shopping cart retrievers
  • Warehouse workers
  • Delivery vehicle drivers
  • Roadside or sidewalk maintenance workers

Class 2 provides “superior visibility for wearers,” and is more conspicuous than
Class 1. Garments worn by Class 2 workers are designed for use in occupational activities where risk levels exceed those of Class 1, such as roadway construction and utility repair.


  • For workers who require greater visibility under inclement weather conditions
  • When work backgrounds are complex
  • When tasks divert attention from approaching vehicle traffic
  • When work areas are located near
    vehicle traffic moving at speeds of 25
    mph or more


  • Roadway construction workers
  • Utility workers / railway workers
  • Survey crews
  • School crossing guards
  • High-volume parking personnel
  • Airport baggage handlers
  • Emergency response personnel
  • Law enforcement personnel
  • Accident site investigators

Class 3 garments are worn in inclement weather, under heavy traffic conditions, or when complex backgrounds impair visibility. According to the ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 National Standard, “conspicuity is enhanced by high contrast between the clothing and the ambient background against which it is seen.”

When Class E garments (trousers) are worn with a Class 2 vest, waistcoat, jacket, or poncho, the overall classification for the ensemble is Class 3. The standard specifies that apparel must be capable of signaling the user’s presence visually. Reflexite® Brilliance Series reflective trim is intended to provide conspicuity for the user in hazardous situations.

Fluorescent lime-yellow trim enhances visibility under any light conditions during
the day, while reflective trim is brightly visible under illumination by vehicle headlights in low light or dark conditions.


  • For pedestrian workers and vehicle operators whose high task loads place them in danger
  • When wearer must be conspicuous through the full range of body motions at a minimum of 390 m (1280 feet)
  • When wearer must be identifiable as a person
  • When workers are exposed to traffic moving at speeds exceeding 50 mph


  • Roadway construction workers
  • Utility workers
  • Survey crews
  • Emergency response personnel

At SSOE, we require high-visibility clothing on all construction projects and when exposed to vehicle traffic.

Work smart, work safe!

Safety Always.

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