• Viewbrite Safety Products
  • Viewbrite Safety Products
  • Viewbrite Safety Products

Information Regarding Safety Vests

Safety vest are very important for road crews and construction workers, though many people tend to forget about them. Everyone knows about hard hats, protective goggles, and steel toed boots, but few know a lot about vests. They are essential not only to shield against debris on the work site but also to improve visibility to drivers, particularly after dark when a worker in regular clothes can only be seen for about 250 feet. The article below will examine just how important they are and provide some basic information regarding them.

Types of Material

There are 3 different material types that these can be made out of, depending on your situation. The most widely used is polyester, as it is appropriate for most all places. It is durable and light, providing both protection and comfort. Vinyl can also be used. It is more reflective than others and can handle a wider variety of weather conditions. A road crew may choose this if they primarily work at night or in rainy weather. The third material that can be used is mesh. More lightweight, these are ideal for the summertime or particularly warm climates, as they allow for more breathing room in the fabric, keeping a worker cooler. These materials are also offered for other protective gear, such as lime t-shirts.

Variations in Color and Reflectivity

The most standard color used is bright orange. However, this is not mandatory. Sometimes a road crew will choose a different color such as yellow or lime green to make sure they can be differentiated from road signs or traffic cones, which are all orange. Not all kinds are reflective, but if working at night they must be. This can either be reflective strips built into the vest or an LED light attached to it.

Safety Certifications

Various groups and organizations come together to assure that safety vests are certified and follow proper guidelines to protect those wearing them. The first of these is ANSI, the American National Standards Institute. Working alongside ISEA, the International Safety Equipment Association, they develop a basic level of standards to conform to. Secondly, OSHA steps in. This stands for Occupational Safety and Health Administration, and their job is to take the ANSI standards and make them even more specific. But above even them is the FHWA, Federal Highway Association. This is where all authority ultimately rests as far as approval or disapproval.

Classifications

There are various levels of protection for different vests. They are split into 3 classes, based on what type of work they will be used for. Class 1 provides the least protection, and is only allowed to be used for work that is not done anywhere on a roadway. Because of this, ANSI will not certify this class. Class 2 provides the next level of protection. These are safe for areas with little traffic and where travel speed is less than 25 mph. These can be certified, but only to a limited degree since they have very specific areas of use. Class 3 is the most popular type, and the most protective. These are allowed to be used anywhere for work on highways or busy roads. This class must always be certified.

It is obvious that one should not just dismiss safety vests. They are no less important than any other part of a construction worker’s uniform, and it takes just as much care to choose the right kind. Another viable option for safety is the lime t-shirts, which are also proven to be successful.

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