High Visibility garment selection should be based on expected use settings and work activities being performed. These are designated as off-road (type O), roadway and temporary traffic control (type R), or public safety activities (type P).
Best practices guidelines—like the voluntary standards outlined in ANSI 107—provide practical instruction regarding both reflective material and garment design. These guidelines also define classes of garments as most appropriate, depending on the level of risk in the work environment.
ANSI Type O, Class 1
Performance Class 1 offers the minimum amount of high visibility materials to differentiate the wearer from non-complex work environments and is only appropriate for off-road environments.
ANSI Type R or P, Class 2
Performance Class 2 is considered the minimum level of protection for workers exposed to roadway rights-of-way and temporary traffic control (TTC) zones. Garments will have additional amounts of high-visibility materials that allow for better definition of the human form.
ANSI Type R or P, Class 3
Performance Class 3 provides more visibility to the wearer in both complex backgrounds and through a full range of movement by the required placement of background, retroreflective, and combined performance materials on the sleeves and pant legs (if present). Garments have an even a greater minimum level of high visibility material the apparel must contain. A garment or vest without sleeves worn alone is NOT considered Class 3 protection.
ANSI Class E
High visibility garments that do not qualify as meeting the requirements of the standard when worn alone, but when a Class E item is worn with a Class 2 or Class 3 garment, the overall classification of the ensemble is Class 3.
For workers who are working in lower-risk environments, but who can still benefit from the extra security of heightened visibility, particularly in low-light conditions. Enhanced visibility garments are not ANSI rated.