All You Need to Know About ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 Standard

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All You Need to Know About ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 Standard

In industries where visibility directly influences safety, such as construction, roadwork, maintenance, and utilities, High-Visibility Safety Apparel (HVSA) is indispensable. The ANSI/ISEA 107 standard, established by the American National Standards Institute, sets regulations to ensure all high-visibility garments meet essential performance and safety requirements. This standard also provides guidelines for selecting and using HVSA, such as safety vests, shirts, and jackets, to enhance worker visibility during both daylight hours and in low-light conditions. This article will thoroughly examine the ANSI/ISEA 107 standard, spanning from basic definitions and categories of HVSA to the rigorous testing and certification processes.

The History of the ANSI/ISEA 107 Standard

The first ANSI/ISEA 107 standard was initiated in 1999. It marked a milestone in safety gear regulations as the first U.S. standard dedicated to the design and performance of high-visibility safety apparel. The inaugural standard laid the groundwork for HVSA requirements, mandating the incorporation of fluorescent and retroreflective materials to ensure workers' visibility under various lighting conditions.

Subsequent revisions have adapted to integrate new safety technologies and address the evolving demands of the workforce. For instance, the 2010 revision improved guidelines related to garment design, care labeling, and photometric performance, thereby ensuring optimal visibility for workers.

The latest revision, ANSI/ISEA 107-2020, continues to refine the classifications and performance criteria. This edition simplifies the types and classes of HVSA, helping employers and workers select suitable gear based on specific environmental hazards and job tasks. It distinguishes between garments for general roadway use and those tailored for public safety professionals. Additionally, the revision also updates durability and longevity requirements for materials, encompassing more stringent testing for colorfastness, brightness, and resistance to environmental factors such as water and UV exposure.

worker wearing high visibility apparels which meet ansi 107 standard

Categories of High-Visibility Apparel Under ANSI 107

The ANSI/ISEA 107 standard categorizes HVSA into three different types and four performance classes, designed to meet the specific requirements of various workplace conditions.

Type O (Off-Road)

  • Visibility Level: This category is designated for apparel used in areas where vehicle speeds do not exceed 25 mph and where there is a substantial separation from traffic, offering a basic level of visibility. Type O includes only one performance class, Class 1.
  • Common Use: Type O is ideal for individuals working in environments such as warehouses, forestry operations, and recreational areas where high-speed vehicle traffic is absent, ensuring worker’s safety in low-risk conditions.
Workplace suitable for ANSI 107 Type O Class 1 high-visibility apparel

Type R (Roadway)

Visibility Level: Type R apparel offers a higher visibility level compared to Type O. It is designed for environments where traffic speeds exceed 25 mph, and workers are in closer proximity to vehicular traffic.

Performance Classes:

  • Class 2: This class is suitable for tasks requiring enhanced visibility during poor weather conditions or for workers whose attention might be diverted from approaching traffic.
  • Class 3: Class 3 offers the highest level of visibility, with additional reflective material covering the arms and/or legs. This is crucial for workers at very high risk of encountering high-speed traffic.
roadside workplace suitable for ANSI 107 Type R Class 2 and 3 high-visibility apparel

Type P (Public Safety)

  • Visibility Level: Similar to Type R, Type P is specifically tailored for emergency responders and law enforcement personnel, such as firefighters and police, who require visibility.
  • Performance Classes: Type P comprises Class 2 and Class 3 garments, with Class 3 providing extensive background and retroreflective material, making it ideal for extremely hazardous situations.
firefighter workplace suitable for ANSI 107 Type P Class 2 and 3 high-visibility apparel

Supplemental Items (Class E)

  • Visibility Level: The Class E designation applies to supplemental high-visibility garments such as mesh pants, shorts, rain pants, and bib pants. These items are specifically designed to enhance the visibility of a safety ensemble but do not meet the requirements of high-visibility classifications when worn alone.
  • Usage: When combined with Class 2 or Class 3 garments, these items help form a complete high-visibility Class 2 or 3 ensemble, significantly enhancing visibility and safety.
roadside worker wearing ANSI 107 Class E high-visibility pants

Understanding these categories empowers employers and workers to select the appropriate high-visibility apparel tailored to the specific risks and requirements across industries.

Key Requirements of the ANSI 107 Standard

The ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 standard outlines essential requirements for high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) to safeguard workers across various operational scenarios.

Material Requirements

Fluorescent Background Materials:

The colored fluorescent materials are designed to be highly conspicuous in daylight conditions. The standard mandates specific categories of HVSA to have minimum amounts of fluorescent materials to ensure effectiveness in enhancing visibility during the daytime.

Retroreflective Materials:

Retroreflective materials reflect a high proportion of light back toward its source, making the material vital for nighttime or low-light visibility. The amount and placement of these materials on each category of HVSA are regulated by the ANSI standard to maximize visibility and safety.

Background and Retroreflective Materials Requirements
Garment Type
Type O
Type R
Type P
Public Safety
Performance Class Class 1 Class 2 Class 3 Class 2 Class 3 Class E
Background Material
217 in² 775 in² 1240 in² 450 in² 775 in² 465 in²
Retroflective Material
155 in² 201 in² 310 in² 201 in² 310 in² 109 in²
Minimum Width of
Retroflective Material
1" 1.38"
(1" for split trim designs)
(1" for split trim designs)
(1" for split trim designs)
(1" for split trim designs)
(1" for split trim designs)

Color Requirements

Three color options are available for fluorescent background materials: fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red, and fluorescent red. Workers should evaluate their specific work setting and the surrounding natural environment to choose the fluorescent color that provides the most effective contrast and visibility.

Design Requirements

HVSA must feature a design that includes the requisite amount of background fluorescent and retroreflective materials.

  • Placement Guidelines: Retroreflective material should be placed in key visibility areas of the garment. This includes horizontal bands around the torso and vertical bands over the shoulders, providing 360° visibility.
  • Leg and Arm Bands: Additional bands are recommended around arms and legs. These bands move with the wearer's movements, enhancing visibility and perception in dynamic conditions.
  • Minimum Width: The standard specifies minimum widths of 1 inch or more for retroreflective materials in each category to ensure effectiveness.
  • Continuity of Materials: Retroreflective materials should form continuous lines around the body, without breaks or gaps. This continuity helps to create a clear outline of the wearer's shape, making it easier to discern their form against complex backgrounds.
  • Material Durability and Performance: The materials used must meet specified performance criteria for durability, including resistance to wear, washing, and flexibility.
retroreflective material placement guidance for ansi 107 high visibility apparel

Product Labeling

Each piece of HVSA must clearly display labels indicating the garment's class, type, and the specific standard it meets. This labeling is crucial for ensuring compliance with safety standards and for assisting users in selecting the appropriate gear for their specific work conditions.

ansi 107 high visibility apparel label of the product manufactured by JKSafety

Certification Process for ANSI 107 Compliant Garments

The certification process for ANSI 107-compliant garments is a meticulous procedure. It ensures that high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) adheres to stringent standard for visibility and durability.

General Requirements

Garments must meet specific design criteria, including the required amount of visible material and its placement on the apparel. The standard classifies garments into various types and performance classes, depending on the anticipated use environment and the visibility levels.

Material Testing

Materials used in these garments undergo several tests to verify compliance with the ANSI 107 standard. This includes:

  • Colorfastness: Ensuring the material retains its color after exposure to environmental elements.
  • Chromaticity: Confirming the accuracy of the color as perceived by the human eye.
  • Luminance: Measuring the brightness of the garment’s colors ensures effective visibility.

Mechanical Testing

Garments are subjected to durability tests to assess the ability to withstand physical wear and tear while maintaining safety features. This includes:

  • Burst Strength: Testing the fabric’s ability to resist rupture under pressure.
  • Tear Strength: Evaluating the material's resistance to tearing.
  • Dimensional Stability: Checking for potential shrinkage post-washing to ensure the garment retains its shape and size.

Reflectivity Testing

High-visibility garments also undergo tests for the reflective capabilities. Particularly, this includes assessing the performance of reflective tapes after multiple wash cycles under ISO 6330 Method at 60°C. This ensures that the garments maintain high visibility even with regular use and laundering.

Certification and Labeling

Upon passing all required tests, garments are certified under the ANSI 107 standard. Each garment must carry a label indicating its compliance, including details about the garment's type and performance class. This label also provides care instructions to help maintain the garment’s protective properties throughout its lifespan.

Testing whether the high visibility material of apparel to meet the ANSI 107 standard

Future Developments in Safety Standards

The landscape of HVSA standards is continuously evolving, responding to technological advancements and changing workplace requirements. Here’s an overview of potential future developments in safety standards:

Inclusion of Emerging Technologies: Future updates may incorporate specifications for innovative features like advanced retroreflective materials or embedded electronic safety devices.

Enhanced Nighttime Luminance: With an increasing focus on low-light visibility, future standards will likely emphasize garments that maintain high visibility at night. This may involve incorporating new testing methods for luminance under varied lighting conditions.

Integration with Other Protective Gear: Future revisions may integrate high-visibility requirements with other personal protective equipment (PPE), developing multifunctional garments that provide comprehensive protection against various hazards.

Focus on Ergonomics and Comfort: Ensuring that HVSA is comfortable and ergonomic is crucial. It facilitates ease of movement for workers, ensuring that safety does not compromise wearer convenience or performance.

Regulatory and Compliance Changes: As international safety regulations progress, updates to HVSA standards are anticipated to ensure alignment with new legal and compliance requirements. These updates may introduce stricter criteria for visibility, material performance, and durability of safety apparel.

workers wearing high visibility safety vests in discussion


The ANSI/ISEA 107 standard delineates the requirements for high-visibility garments, establishing classifications, and conducting extensive testing to safeguard workplace safety. The standard not only establishes benchmarks for HVSA but also evolves with advancements in safety technologies and workplace needs.

As the standard progress, it will likely integrate into a broader range of industries. This integration will involve incorporating feedback from safety professionals and technological innovations to enhance the efficacy of HVSA in protecting workers. Employers and workers need to stay informed about these updates to ensure that their safety equipment adheres to current standard and provides robust protection.


What is the ANSI/ISEA 107 standard?

The ANSI/ISEA 107 standard is a guideline established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) that specifies requirements for high-visibility safety apparel (HVSA). The standard ensures that such garments are visible in various lighting conditions to prevent accidents and injuries in high-risk environments.

Who needs to comply with the high-visibility standard?

Compliance with the ANSI/ISEA 107 standard is crucial for workers in industries where visibility is critical to safety. This includes construction, road maintenance, utility, and emergency services personnel, among others, who operate near traffic or other machinery where high visibility can prevent accidents.

What are the key components of the ANSI/ISEA 107-2020 standard?

The standard categorizes HVSA into types and classes based on the expected use setting and visibility needs. It outlines requirements for the amount and type of reflective and fluorescent materials used, the colors acceptable for visibility, and other design and performance specifications such as garment types (Type O, R, P) and classes (Class 1, 2, 3).

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