It doesn’t often make the news, but each year scores of men and women are injured or killed while working on or near roadways. Construction workers, equipment operators, law enforcement personnel and first responders such as fire fighters and EMS workers are all at risk of blending into their backgrounds and not being seen by motorists. Wearing a safety vest, also known as a traffic vest or a construction vest, can literally save your life, by offering extra visibility to oncoming traffic or equipment,- while still allowing a full range of motion. The added visibility provided by a traffic vest makes it an essential piece of protective gear you don’t want to be without.
In an effort to reduce the number of accidents, the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established standards, ANSI/ISEA 107-2004, for reflective safety vests and other high visibility clothing. These standards divide reflective clothing into three classifications: Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3. Each classification is distinguished by the required number of square inches of reflective material. To assure that traffic vests or other items of reflective clothing are visible both in the bright sun as well as at night, the standard sets the amount of reflective material the garment must have. A construction vest is intended to make the wearer more visible, whether worn during the day or at night. Construction vests complying with these standards have quickly become accepted throughout industry as an effective way to protect workers by increasing their visibility. Workers who are within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed to either traffic or to construction equipment within the work area are required to wear reflective vests, and possibly additional high visibility safety apparel. Workers who would be required to wear a traffic vest or reflective jacket include but are not limited to: surveyors, equipment and truck drivers, construction and maintenance crews, inspectors, flaggers.
Reflective safety clothing is available to meet the various requirements of differing work and weather conditions, and includes safety vests, light weight summer T-shirts, sweatshirts and, for cold or wet weather, reflective jackets, reflective coats and reflective raincoats,- all available as either ANSI Class 2 or Class 3.
Additionally, Construction vests are available in either a lightweight, open weave, polyester mesh fabric or in solid polyester fabric. The open weave mesh fabric is recommended for use in warmer climates. Construction vests are also available with either a zipper or Velcro front closure. Several varieties of surveyor’s vests with up to twelve pockets are available from most manufacturers.