Safety Vest Classes: ​What’s the Difference Between Class 1, 2, and 3 Safety Vests?

Safety Vest Classes: ​What’s the Difference Between Class 1, 2, and 3 Safety Vests?

When your team is in the field, your workers need to wear safety vests, or high-visibility vests. These vests are made with highly reflective materials that keep individual workers visible, especially at night. All safety vests are rated and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). Safety vests are classified as Class 1, Class 2, or Class 3, based on the amount of both reflective material and high contrast (orange or lime color) fabric making up the vest. The degree of reflectivity in the tape and intensity of the background fabric colors are specified in the ANSI standard. The more hazardous your workplace, the more visible your team needs to be.

Learn about the differences between the classes of hi-vis vests and when to use each.

Class 1 Safety Vests

Class 1 vests are essential for professionals operating in environments where the separation from traffic is substantial, and vehicle speeds do not surpass 25 mph. These vests meet the minimum requirements for high-visibility clothing in professional settings, underscoring the necessity of being visible in low-risk situations. Ideal for parking lot attendants, delivery personnel, and roadside assistance workers, these vests ensure safety by incorporating at least 155 square inches of reflective tape for optimal visibility (Daigler, 2002).

Class 2 Safety Vests

Designed for more challenging conditions, Class 2 safety vests cater to environments with inclement weather, proximity to roadways, and traffic exceeding 25 mph. Providing a moderate visibility level, these vests are tailored for individuals whose tasks may divert their attention from oncoming traffic. With a requirement for at least 201 square inches of reflective tape, these vests are a critical safety measure for airport personnel, toll booth operators, and forest workers, enhancing their focus and safety without compromising visibility (Daigler, 2002).

Class 3 Safety Vests

Class 3 safety vests offer the utmost level of visibility for professionals engaged near fast-moving traffic or in areas with poor visibility conditions. These garments are essential for emergency responders, roadway construction teams, utility workers, and surveyors, providing comprehensive protection and visibility. With a minimum of 310 square inches of reflective tape, these vests are designed to outline the full silhouette of the wearer, ensuring they are unmistakably visible and safe in any work condition (Daigler, 2002).

Finding Quality Safety Vests for Your Workers

Reflective safety vests should be just as comfortable as they are safe. If you’re looking for reflective safety vests for members of your team, visit PK Safety for a wide selection of high-visibility clothing, including Class 1, 2 and 3 vests.

The  PIP ANSI Type R Class 3 Two-Tone Surveyor Vest is made of a mesh and a solid polyester fabric which adds breathability and less prone to dirt and damage. The contrasting colored tape around silver reflective provides optimal visibility.

The  PIP ANSI R3 Two-Tone Mesh Surveyor Vest is made of a mesh adds a great deal of breathability especially in warmer climates.

The PIP ANSI Class 2 Two-Tone Six Pocket Surveyor's Vest comes with a back-mesh panel that keeps you cool on the job, while the front panel comes with pockets for radios, phones, and other supplies. It also comes with reinforced stitching for more durability, and two-tone reflective tape for more visibility in the field.

The PIP Type R Class 2 Two Pocket Zipper Mesh Vest 302-0702Z-LY is made of polyester mesh for more breathability. You and your team can stay cool on the job without putting yourselves at risk. It’s perfect for anyone that needs a Class 2 reflective safety vest.

The PIP Yellow Mesh D-Ring Access Hi-Vis Vest 302-0600D-LY is perfect for those working in class 2 work zones or those facing potential fall hazards. It’s made with breathable fabric and comes with a built-in access point for attaching a safety harness. Available in Lime Yellow and Orange.

Stay safe on the job with these quality hi-vis safety vests. For more information on the differences between Class 1, 2 and 3 vests,  contact the safety professionals at PK Safety. 

Sources: Daigler, D. (2002). KEEPING WORK CREWS VISIBLE FOR SAFETY. Public works, 133.

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Oct 22nd 2019 PK Safety Team

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