Worker Protections

High Visibility Products

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workers were killed by a vehicle in a work zone in 2020.
High-Visibility Products

High Visibility Products Buyers Guide

High Visibility Products Worker Protections

High visibility, or hi vis clothing, is a type of apparel that workers wear to improve their visibility on a jobsite. It is most frequently worn to alert drivers and other equipment operators of where workers are located. It’s essential in dangerous conditions, such as in close proximity to roadways, in dark conditions, and in areas where workers might be blocked by trees, traffic barriers, or construction equipment. Hi vis clothing includes vests and shirts, jackets, pants, coveralls, gloves, hats and accessories that combine fluorescent materials for daytime visibility with retroreflective materials to enable workers to be seen at night. Also included are hi vis vests for public safety workers such as police, fire services and emergency responders. 

Federal Standards and Regulations

In a Letter of Interpretation (Aug. 5, 2009), OSHA says: “..high visibility apparel is required under the General Duty Clause to protect employees exposed to the danger of being struck by public and construction traffic while working highway/road construction zones. Typically, workers in a highway/work zone are exposed to that hazard most of the time.” 
Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD) 6D.03 (2009): All workers, including emergency responders, within the right-of-way who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to work vehicles and construction equipment within the TTC zone shall wear high-visibility safety apparel that meets the Performance Class 2 or 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107–2004 publication entitled “American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear” or equivalent revisions. 

ANSI/ISEA 107 American National Standard for High Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear
This standard provides performance criteria for the materials to be used in high visibility PPE, specifies minimum areas and, where appropriate, recommends placement of the materials. Performance requirements focus on the color and brightness of garments and headwear relative to the work environment and the combined use of fluorescent and retroreflective materials to make a person conspicuous in all light conditions, day and night. The standard offers three Performance Classes for garments, based on worker hazards and tasks, complexity of the work environment or background and vehicular traffic and speed conditions. 
ANSI A10.47 Work Zone Safety for Highway Construction
This standard notes “High Visibility Safety Apparel” are garments and headwear worn by workers to provide increased conspicuity and visibility and that meet the performance requirements contained in ANSI/ISEA 107.

Additional Resources

ISEA is represented on the following standards committees and panels:

  • ANSI A10 – Safety Requirements for Construction and Demolition Operations
  • ANSI Z535 – Safety Signs and Colors
  • ASTM F23 – Committee on Protective Clothing
  • CSA Z96 – Technical Committee on High Visibility Safety Apparel
  • NFPA Technical Correlating Committee – Fire & Emergency Services Protective Clothing & Equipment


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