Safety vests are worn by workers who work on or near roads, or places where there are movements of vehicles, cranes, cables, winches, motors or any moving gears. Workers who are engaged in emergency and construction work, need to be detected by other parties who operate moving machinery that can be potentially dangerous.
Safety vests are found in yellow, orange or red, and have reflective stripes, insignia and letters printed on them. Types of safety vests to be used depend on the user, work environments or type of industry.
American National Standards Institute (ANSI) approves the following types of vests:
A safety vest is an article of personal protective equipment that’s designed to have high visibility and reflectivity. It is usually worn by cyclists, motor cyclists, traffic police and workers engaged in construction, road work, rail work and those working in ports, airports, yards, hangers, fire, rescue, emergency services and utility jobs where bad weather or low visibility may be an issue. A safety vest wearer is easily detected, which can help other parties avoid colliding with the individual.
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.