SAFEGUARDS | Softlines NO. 072/16

SafeGuardS engineer wear safety vest

As of 1st February 2016, the ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Accessories is in effect. This new edition consolidates the requirements of ANSI/ISEA 107 and ANSI/ISEA 207 (Public Safety Vests) establishing a single comprehensive standard that considers all occupational tasks for High-Visibility Safety Apparel.

High-visibility apparel in all kinds of settings allows workers to be seen more easily and reduces the potential of exposure to hazards and injury under dangerous conditions such as low visibility or moving vehicles.  Occupations of particular concern are highway maintenance and construction zones, survey, airport ramp personnel, off-road projects, etc. This standard specifies the types, classes and color of high-visibility safety apparel required by workers exposed to traffic hazards and also provides guidelines for the selection and use of high-visibility safety apparel such as vests, shirts, rainwear, outerwear, pants, headwear and other high-visibility accessories to improve workers’ safety.

The ANSI/ISEA 107 Standard provides performance specification details for materials used in the construction of high-visibility apparel and includes specific test procedures for background materials, retroreflective and combined-performance materials. The standard also provides criteria for apparel design, care labeling, general marking and instruction for use requirements. The new edition continues to identify three performance classes of garments depending on the amount of visible materials and design attributes incorporated into the final configuration and identifies garments types based on expected use settings and work activities being performed.

There are a few major changes and noteworthy differences in the 2015 version, such as the addition of “Types” to garment descriptions, a “smallest size” offering, expansion of the scope for accessories including headwear, gloves and armbands, specifies labeling requirements to identify the garment by type, performance class and by its flame resistance characteristics as defined in the standard. Additional examples of garment configurations to illustrate compliant and non-compliant designs have been added.

Highlights of the major changes for ANSI/ISEA 107-2015:

New High-Visibility Safety Apparel (HVSA) Types

  • Type O – Off-road (Non Roadway)

  • Type R – Roadway

  • Type P – Public Safety (ANSI 207 merged) 

New HVSA Class Definitions

  • Type O – Class 1

  • Type R – Class 2 and Class 3

  • Type P – Class 2 and Class 3

  • Type Supplemental – Class E 

“Smallest” Size Garments Type R

Small size workers wearing oversized garments can be a safety hazard. The standard now allows smallest size garment to have LESS background material:

  • Type R, Class 2 – 540 square inches instead of 775 square inches

  • Type R, Class 3 – 1000 square inches instead of 1240 square inches

Non- FR Labeling Requirement

  • Garments not meeting one of  the flame resistant requirements must state in the label “This garment is non flame resistant as defined by ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Section 10.5”

To comply with ANSI/ISEA 107-2015, the background material and retroreflective or combined-performance material used in the construction of a finished garment must be tested and certified by an accredited third party laboratory to ensure that the materials meet the specified performance requirements imposed by the standard. The manufacturer of the finished item is then required to verify the garment produced is made of compliant materials and meets all the requirements stated in the standard and provides a garment compliance certificate for each model. Current ANSI/ISEA 107-2010 and ANSI/ISEA 207-2011 garments are still acceptable and compliant.

Reference: ANSI/ISEA 107-2015

SGS Global Softlines has an extensive network of over 40 laboratories worldwide, with a strong team of committed professionals from multi-disciplinary backgrounds. Our internationally accredited state-of-the-art testing laboratories offer a comprehensive range of physical, chemical and functional testing services for components, materials and finished products. We help your company ensure quality, performance and compliance with international, industrial and regulatory standards worldwide. Discover more at

For enquiries, please contact:

Louann Spirito
Director Technical Support, Softlines
t: +1 973 461 7919

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