Who Needs Safety Vests?
By Carrie Haggerty
Nowadays there are many different uses for safety vests. Safety vests main purpose of course is to stay visible, and there are many different types of safety vests for all different occasions. You will most often see them at construction sites all around town as you are driving by, as well as many bikers have chosen to be more visible to drivers and are finding that the best way to keep bright is to purchase a safety vest while they are on the road.
Now there are many different array of safety vest so where do you start? Well, mainly the choice is yours and yours alone. There are many different styles for the particular needs that you may have when you are looking for the right vest. Let's go through some of the styles options and what they have to offer.
First you must find out what class of vest you will need for the type of industry you are in and find out if they suit your needs.
There are 3 different classes available:
Class 1 safety vests - These are used primarily used for low traffic areas such as a sidewalk maintenance or a parking lot attendant. This class of safety vest does not need ANSI approval.
Class 2 Safety Vests - The class 2 safety vests need to go through ANSI approval and are used for speeds that are no more that 25 mph, most likely you would see traffic officers and a school crossing guard sporting these class of safety vests.
Class 3 Safety Vests - These safety vests also need ANSI approval required and you would typically see these worn by highway construction workers, road surveyors or anywhere that the speed exceeds more than 50 mph.
The different colours help keep you visible and the size of the reflective striping also is a great start whether it be 2 or 3", the thicker the striping the more visibility you will have. Most safety vest at least the top most quality have 100% polyester and you can get them with a see through mesh, t-shirt style or for the most visibility put on a full suit, especially if you are working at night on dark highways.
You also want to make sure that the ANSI has approved the safety vest as well. ANSI is the American National Standards Institute is a private non-profit organisation that administers and co-ordinates the US voluntary standardisation and conformity assessment system. They regulate the highest safety standards for all safety product in the US This is a big one so please be aware of what you are buying.
Sept. 15th of this year, the American National Standards Institute have updated their standards for safety apparel, the revised standard is a guideline for the design, performance specifications and use of high-visibility and reflective apparel including vests, jackets, bib/jump-suit coveralls, trousers and harnesses. All safety apparel that meet the standard provide users with a high level of conspicuity through the use of combined fluorescent and retroreflective materials.
After all that is said and done, you can start looking for any extras you may want such as pockets on the safety vest whether it inside or outside, also if you prefer the mesh vest as opposed to a t-shirt type, the can also come with the tearaway features, pull over or the zipper. Once you make your final decision I know you will have the ultimate in safety wear and providing a safe work environment for all your patrons employees.