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High-Visibility Safety Apparel

​This Tailgate Talk is part of the NLTAPA collection.

The need to be seen is critical for worker safety. Low visibility is a serious hazard for all workers who perform work tasks near moving traffic. According to the Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) Worker Visibility Final Rule; “All workers within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel.”


High-Visibility Safety Apparel (HVSA) is defined as any garment meeting the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 107-2015 Class 2 or 3 standard. The previous HVSA minimum standard was ANSI 107-2004. Check with your local safety officer for the updated version of this standard, however; all HVSA should be updated to the newest standard.


In order to verify your HVSA meets the standard, check the label. The label must clearly show the Type and Performance Class, as well as other information about the garment. See below for sample label.


The updated 2015 edition combined ANSI/ISEA 107 with ANSI/ISEA 207 (high-visibility vests) for simplification; users can now easily select garments for a particular application. Garment Types based on work environment have been added: Type O (Off-road), Type R (Roadway), and Type P (Public Safety). Type O corresponds with Performance Class 1 and Types R and P can be either Performance Class 2 or Performance Class 3. To accommodate for smaller-size workers, the minimum area of material for a Type R (roadway and temporary traffic control zones) Class 2 or 3 was reduced for the smallest size offered.


As a general rule of thumb, below are some images of HVSA that are considered acceptable and unacceptable. This image does not reflect the latest approved garments, it is simply a reference. It is a good practice to keep your HVSA clean and free from excessive dirt. HVSA may be laundered, however, be sure to refer to your label for the number of times a HVSA can be washed before replacing. This is your safety, don’t give it away. Be seen, be safe!