We test the fluorescent background materials and retroreflective materials used in high visibility clothing and personal protective equipment (PPE). Our retroreflective tests and other investigations are conducted according to national and international standards, including:
- ANSI/SEA 107 – the American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel, developed by the American National Standards Institute/International Safety Equipment Association
- EN 471 – High-visibility warning clothing (as worn for professional use), under European Directive 89/686/EEC
Regulations such as these establish the basic safety requirements that PPE must satisfy, including the use of fluorescent material and the specification for retroreflective materials.
Retroreflection refers to light rays being returned in the direction from which they came, and this can be achieved by introducing specially-shaped optical units to the material(s) concerned. These retroreflective elements can be incorporated on safety vests, jackets and other clothing. The performance of retroreflective materials is determined by measuring the coefficient of retroreflection in specified entrance and observation angles.
We evaluate the design of an item of clothing in terms of how much surface area constitutes background material, retroreflective material and combined performance material. We also assess against the minimum width requirements for retroreflective materials and the number and design of bands, if appropriate.
In addition, for background (fluorescent) material, we test for chromaticity – the quality of colour, independent of brightness – and luminance – the intensity of light emitted, in a given direction, from a surface per unit area.
Contact SGS now to find out how our PPE tests can help ensure compliance with relevant standards, safeguard employees and the public, and reduce business risk.