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A Brief Guide To ANSI and Hi-Vis Clothing Standards

Use our guide for choosing the best high-visibility apparel, for you and your workers!

Use our guide for choosing the best high-visibility apparel, for you and your workers!

For any work situation, safety is a top priority.  Establishments like ANSI and OSHA, just to name a few, work to set standards for safety and operations, to ensure workers are working in a safe manner, and are properly looked after on the jobsite or workplace.  The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a program that focuses on safety and health of both consumers and the environment, so as to improve and maintain a higher quality of life for all, while strengthen the workforce and global economy.  ANSI’s main mission is to “enhance both the global competitiveness of U.S. business and the U.S. quality of life by promoting and facilitating voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems, and safeguarding their integrity.”  A piece of that work involves proper worksite apparel to ensure the safety of industrial workers, like high-visibility clothing.  Hi-Visibility clothing is essential for the outdoor worker, whether they’re on the road, or on a construction site.  This type of apparel makes the worker easier to see from far away, and in low-light situations.  Quite simply, high visibility clothing makes the worker highly visible.


For workers on the roadways, or in outdoor jobsites, visibility is a constant concern.  So often workers can be virtually invisible due to environmental issues; and KL Jack works to address that issue by providing a wide range of high visibility clothing to meet ANSI standards.  ANSI specific standards for high-visibility clothing are based on the amount of necessary reflective material, the amount of background material, and the presence of sleeves in the garment, and are then subsequently divided into four classes: Class 1, Class 2, Class 3, and Class E.  The most common and relevant classes are Class 2, 3, and E.

  • ANSI Class 1:  For use by workers who are well separated from traffic and working in areas where vehicle and/or equipment speeds do not exceed 25 mph.  Workers who can benefit from this class of garments include those directing parking operations, retrieving shopping carts from parking areas, maintaining sidewalks, making deliveries from vehicles, and working in warehouses where motorized equipment is present.
  • ANSI Class 2:  For workers in situations where complex visual backgrounds may be present, and are near heavy machinery or near traffic between the speeds of 25-50 mph.  ANSI designates that all class 2 garments must have 201 square inches of retro-reflective material, with 1.375 inch reflective striping.  They must also have 775 square inches of background material and be sleeveless.  Examples of workers benefiting from this class of garments are roadway construction workers, utility workers, survey crews, crossing guards, toll gate personnel, airport baggage handlers, first responders and law enforcement personnel.
  • ANSI Class 3:  These are high visibility garments for workers in the highest-risk situations, who need to be visible through a full range of body motions from a minimum distance of 1,280 feet.  They have sleeves, 310 square inches of reflective material with 2 inch striping, and 1,240 square inches of background material.  Those rated Class 3 are required for workers near traffic in excess of 50 mph.  Workers who can benefit from this class of garments include highway maintenance and construction crews, utility workers, tow truck operators, survey crews, flaggers and emergency response personnel.
  • ANSI Class E:  Applies to retro-reflective equipped pants, gaiters, or shorts, designed to be worn in combination with either Class 2 or Class 3 tops.  When worn in this manner, the ensemble is rated as Performance Class 3.



So which high-visibility apparel is right for you?  Ultimately, it’s up to the employer to determine what is needed for their employees, on the jobsite.  It’s best to pick high-visibility clothing based on the color and complexity of the work environment, the task that is being done, and the separation of the worker from moving equipment and vehicles.  Quite simply, you don’t want to be wearing similar colors as the equipment, or the environment in which you’re working in.  Using the brief guide above, as well as checking OSHA and ANSI regulations, will help to provide practical instructions regarding both reflective material and garment design.  These guidelines also define the best suited classes of garments, depending on the level of risk that could be faced in the work environment.  It’s important to know also that high-visibility garments should be replaced when it becomes faded, worn out, ripped, stained, or when it becomes difficult for the item to be seen at 1,000 feet in high or low light.  Typically, the durability of high-visibility clothing will depend on the type of work the person wearing them is doing, or the harshness of the environment the clothing is exposed to.  For more information on high visibility standards, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has a helpful article about High-Visibility Clothing Standards.

“You don’t want to be wearing similar colors as the
or the environment that you’re working in.”


Here at KL Jack, we want to make sure you’re getting the job done, and getting it done right and safely.  So we have a phenomenal selection of high visibility clothing to meet all class standards.  We have a great selection of Class 2 and Class 3 shirts, vests, and jackets, as well as Class E pants and leg gaiters!  We even provide work gloves in highly visible colors such as Lime Yellow and Orange. Our high visibility clothing and gloves are frequently offered on sale as well, making the values almost more visible than the clothing themselves!

Click here for our high-visibility flyer, or here to check out the high-visibility section of!  To make our selection of high-visibility apparel even better, we also offer custom printing!  Custom printing is available upon request.  Pricing is based on the number of pieces to be printed, size of print and the quality of the original artwork provided.  Volume print pricing and full color printing is also available.  Please call 1-800-639-8805 for more information.


Work Better, with KL Jack & Co.