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HIGH VISIBILITY SAFETY VESTS
High visibility reflective safety vests, or 'hi-vis vests' are used throughout the country and around the world as a safety and precautionary measure. When worn in certain work environments, these vests to help prevent injury to those who wear them. By allowing enhanced visibility to co-workers, motorists, and heavy equipment operators, there is a reduced chance for serious accidents on the job. This is especially true in both harsh weather and low light conditions when vision is often compromised. Reflective safety vests are also helpful to runners and cyclists in high-traffic areas as well as emergency responders to which safety vests offer easy identification in a crowded place.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approves the following types of vests:
- ANSI Class 2 Safety Vests: For workers working close to traffic traveling between 25-50 miles per hour, in the presence of heavy machinery, or in inclement weather and low visibility conditions
- ANSI Class 3 Safety Vests: For workers working close to traffic exceeding 50 mph and/or in very dark or zero-visibility conditions. These vests have longer sleeves than Class 2.
- ANSI 207-2011 Safety Vests: These are also known as public safety vests, and are worn by law enforcement agencies, fire and emergency rescuers. These are normally worn over safety equipment and can be removed quickly in the incident of entanglement.
Non-ANSI safety vests are made of high visibility material, often with a small number of reflective stripes. They are inexpensive alternatives to approved vests in some cases.