Safety vests provide useful protection in emergency and other potentially hazardous situations. They may look simple, but each color and design has been carefully considered and approved according to purpose and industry by the American National Standards Institute and the International Safety Equipment Association. They’re not only recommended for on the job safety, but for any outdoor activity that’s conducted during times of limited visibility.
For safety equipment to be effective, it must be used properly and in the manner proscribed by the boards governing worker health and safety. The different classes and colors for safety vests are carefully designed according to the results of studies done on the most effective choices for specific use. Class 1 vests used for low-traffic where posted speeds don’t exceed 10 MPH are unrated and have more flexibility in color choice. They’re the type worn by parking attendants. Class 2 vests are for areas where posted speed limits are less than 25 MPH, and the color choices are limited to only orange, yellow or lime green safety vests. The workers who use these vests are mostly crossing guards and traffic cops. Class 3 safety vest are regulated to wear the same colors as Class 2 for daytime hours, but during low visibility periods and at night, they’re restricted to white or silver, with reflective material added. Class 3 vests are used by highway construction workers. Some occupations also allow lighted vests for nighttime work. The only variation on safety vest colors are the blue vests worn by paramedics and other medical emergency personnel, so that they’re more visible at accident scenes.
Aside from the classes of safety vests, there are also special purpose vests available for certain occupations. These include water safety vests, which are water resistant and provide greater visibility in marine environments; safety harness vests, which are used in air and sea rescue operations; and construction vests, for workers using heavy equipment at construction sites.
A safety vest from SafetyGearOnline.com or similar supplier must be certified safety products that meets all federal and local guidelines for materials, color, style and purpose. Many websites also have additional safety equipment available and information about regulations and use of safety vests and other lifesaving equipment.