Summer 2003 • Volume 2 • Issue 2

In this Issue: ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 & CSA Z96-02




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ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 & CSA Z96-02 Recommendations




Background Materials

Class 3

0.8 m²

1240 in²

Class 2

0.5 m²

775 in²

Class 1

0.14 m²

217 in²

The American National Standard (ANSI) and the Canadian Standards Association Standard (CSA) specifies minimum amounts of background fabrics and retroreflective materials for high-visibility garments. Background fabrics must be fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent orange-red or fluorescent red, (the additional colors bright yellow-green, bright orange-red or bright red are acceptable for the CSA standard).



 107-1999eve that iscencing .s action at the Ontario Rental Housing Authority and the Urban develpomeBoth of these standards establish three classes of high-visibility safety clothing. Class 1, 2, and 3 are designated for each level of visibility, depending on the working environment for such things as traffic volume and visual complexity of the areas in which the garments will be worn.


All classes must provide the wearer 360º visibility. This is accomplished in a jacket by having the retroreflective striping encircle the torso and matching stripes on each arm. For garments with legs the retroreflective striping encircles each leg no more than 350 mm above the bottom of the leg.


The CSA specification requires that the minimum width of all stripes shall be no less than 50mm for all classes, where the ANSI standard will vary. The retroreflective striping has some special rules regarding the placement of the stripe. There are to be no gaps of more than 50mm on any horizontal stripe and 50mm on any vertical stripe


These standards specify three conspicuity classes of garments based on the wearer’s activities.


Class 1 has the least amount of fluorescent and retroreflective trim, while Class 3 safety clothing has the most. To fulfill the requirements of Class 1, workers can wear a harness made of combined performance (reflective and fluorescent) material.




Class 2 provides "superior visibility for wearers," and is more conspicuous than Class 1. Garments worn by Class 2 workers are designed for use in occupational activities where risk levels exceed those of Class 1, such as roadway construction and utility repair.


Conspicuity Class 2 

·          For workers who require greater visibility under inclement weather conditions

·          When work backgrounds are complex

·          When tasks divert attention from approaching vehicle traffic

·          When work areas are located near vehicle traffic moving at speeds of 25 mph


High-Visibility Safety Apparel for

·          Roadway construction workers or Railway workers

·          Utility workers or Survey crews

·          School crossing guards

·          Airport baggage handlers/ground crew

·          Emergency response personnel

·          Law enforcement personnel

·          Accident site investigators


Class 2 Minimum Standards *

Vest, Jacket, Rainwear, Etc.

201 in²

0.13 m²

8.38 linear ft.

50 mm


201 in²

0.13 m²

12.2 linear ft.

35 mm

1 3/8"

* Sizes of retroreflective trim may be combined to meet the minimum area requirement for a

Class 2 garment. Class 2 does not permit 25 mm (1") trim to be used.



Class 3 garments are worn in inclement weather, under heavy traffic conditions, or when complex backgrounds impair visibility. According to the ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 National Standard, "conspicuity is enhanced by high contrast between the clothing and the ambient background against which it is seen." When Class E garments (trousers) are worn with a Class 2 vest, waistcoat, jacket, or poncho, the overall classification for the ensemble is Class 3. The standard specifies that apparel must be capable of signaling the user's presence visually. Retroreflective trim is intended to provide conspicuity for the user in hazardous situations. Fluorescent lime-yellow trim enhances visibility under any light conditions during the day, while retroreflective trim is brightly visible under illumination by vehicle headlights in low light or dark conditions.



Conspicuity Class 3 

·          For pedestrian workers and vehicle operators whose high task loads place them in danger

·          When wearer must be conspicuous through the full range of body motions at a minimum of 390 m (1280 feet)

·          When wearer must be identifiable as a person

·          When workers are exposed to traffic moving at speeds exceeding 50 mph


High-Visibility Safety Apparel for

·          Roadway construction workers

·          Utility workers or Survey crews

·          Emergency response personnel

·          Law enforcement personnel



Class 3 Minimum Standards *

Jacket, Rainwear, Etc.

310 in²

0.2 m²

12.92 linear ft.

50 mm


* Only 50 mm (2") retroreflective trim may be used to meet the minimum area requirement for a Class 3 garment. Class 3 does not permit 35 mm (1 3/8") or 25 mm (1") trim to be used.


Suggested Patterns for Design

OUTDOOR OUTFITS and the ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 & CSA Z96-02 Standards

OUTDOOR OUTFITS is offering the following styles, which are all classified under these standards. Other special garments can be tailored to meet your department’s needs. Note: any REFLECTIVE patterns are only suggestions and can be changed to suit your department’s needs.

  • 3-Ply PROTEX - Waterproof / Breathable:
    Style 8125 ANSI :3 Ply PROTEX Shorty Reversible Raincoat
    Style 8015 ANSI :3 Ply PROTEX Reversible Raincoat
  • Reversible - Waterproof:
    Style 9125 ANSI :Shorty Reversible Raincoat
    Style 9015 ANSI :Reversible Raincoat
    Style 9034 ANSI :Reversible Raincoat
    Style 9515 ANSI :Reversible Raincoat
  • Rainsuit - Waterproof:
    Style 9150 ANSI :Rain Jacket & Pants



1.       Is this a new law?
ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 and
CSA Z96-02 are voluntary consensus standards, recognized as North American National Standards. Until the publication of these documents, there was no uniform, authoritative guide for the design, performance specifications, and use of high-visibility and reflective apparel in the United States or Canada. These represent what the industry and users view as necessary to adequately protect workers from the hazards associated with low visibility.

2.       The designation of the standard is ANSI/ISEA 107-1999. I have heard of ANSI standards but who is ISEA and what is their role in this standard?
ISEA - The Safety Equipment Association is the national trade association for manufacturers of safety and personal protective equipment. ISEA is dedicated to protecting the health and safety of all workers through the development of workplace standards and the education of users on safe work practices and exposure prevention. The standard was drafted by an ISEA product group, and the association managed the process by which it achieved national consensus. As the secretariat, ISEA publishes the standard and responds to requests for interpretation.

3.       Are these standards the same as the European EN 471 standard?
The developers of these standards used many of the requirements of EN 471 because they have confidence in the reasoning and science supporting the performance criteria that it established.

4.       Does OSHA know about this? What is their position?
As with many of the other PPE standards that ISEA develops, ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 and
CSA Z96-02 are being publicized and distributed to all areas of the federal, state, provincial and local governments for recognition as a guide for high visibility apparel and the workers who use them. OSHA encourages the development of voluntary industry consensus standards and is an advocate for their use.

5.       Who will tell me what conspicuity class of garment I need?
The standards include some examples, (we have listed them in this document), of the conditions that each class may require. However, the employer must evaluate the work conditions and environment to determine what class is appropriate for an individual worker.

6.       Do these standards only permit the designs that are provided in the Appendix/Annex of these Standards?
NO. The designs provided in the appendix or annex of these standards are only examples. There may be many innovative designs that meet the standard and are different from the limited examples in the appendix. Section 5.2.1 of the ANSI/ISEA 107-1999 standard and Section 4.2 of the
CSA Z96-02 standard state the only design requirements of these standards. However the CSA Z96-02 standard does require the X pattern as mandatory to be on the back of all garments.

7.       Do open weave or mesh meet the background material requirements of the standard?
All background materials must meet the performance requirements in the standard. Because the performance of the garment is greatly affected by what the user wears under it, when using open weave or mesh fabrics, it may be difficult to meet the standard. However, ANSI/ISEA 107 is a performance standard and the material specifications are not written to include or exclude any materials if they meet the requirements for visibility and durability.

8.       My workers are only out during the day/night. Why do I need so much background/ retroreflective materials that affect the cost of the garments?
Great variability in illumination conditions exists in daytime or nighttime due to weather, daylight savings time etc. A national standard should protect workers in all possible lighting conditions, day or night.













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