A Complete Guide To Buying Hi-Vis Workwear For Job Sites

High-visibility workwear is any clothing that helps workers remain visible in dangerous working sites. That includes construction sites, roads, and security personnel. Wearing highly reflective clothing plays a major role in keeping you safe from the dangers in your job.

Having the right hi-vis workwear is crucial to ensure it serves its purpose correctly. That is why a body governs the wearing and type of high-visibility clothes people wear in different industries.

American National Standards Institute (ANSI), the organization responsible for developing and maintaining the standards used in high visibility clothing, has certain requirements for protective clothing. According to the ANSI 107-2020, there are various types of hi-vis workwear.

Different Types of Hi-vis Workwear

1.   Type O

Mines and warehouses frequently employ workers wearing Type O attire. They are appropriate for off-road uses. A great example of Type O ANSI workwear is a reflective harness. It is also the lowest in terms of cost.

2.   Type R

These high-visibility clothing items are intended for use in settings with heavy traffic exposure, such as road construction. It is one of the minimum protection levels.

3.   Type P

Public safety personnel, such as EMTs and law enforcement officials, who need improved visibility in daytime and nighttime conditions, should wear Type P high-visibility workwear. Like type R, it also belongs to the minimum protection level.

The Performance Classes

The ANSI clothing types we looked at have a few performance class subcategories. Each of these classifications signifies that the attire complies with the requirements for maintaining workers’ visibility.

Class 1

This class is referred to as the lowest protection level. Therefore,  Class 1 might not be suitable for all work environments. ANSI/ISEA standards are what define the performance classes of high-visibility clothing. You can be squandering money on subpar safety equipment and clothing if you don’t have a reference point.

The CSA Standard Z96-15 details the background materials’ levels of colors, luminosity, and retroreflective performance.

Class 2

Each class is divided according to the level of worker protection it offers. Class 2 offers the highest level of ANSI 107 protection but also the lowest in Type R and P. Each class has a minimum body covering required by the CSA, with Class 1 clothes offering the least protection and visibility.

Class 3

Class 3 clothing has the highest amount of protection out of all the classifications that are offered. It’s crucial to select the correct class based on the risk variables and working conditions you’ll be facing from among the 107 standards defined by ANSI that describe various forms of clothing and their performance levels.

Class 3 clothing is typically equipped with luminous tape on the arms and lower thighs and is perfect for most road jobs.

Class E

Class E is for hi-vis accessories like visibility leggings.

Also Read: Workmans Comp 101: Everything a Small Business Owner Needs To Know


It is crucial to pick the right hi-vis workwear to ensure you are safe when working. The first thing to check before you buy any high-visibility garment is, therefore, the ANSI label. It helps you know how safe you will be in the hi-vis workwear you purchased.