What Does Supplementary Class E High-Visibility Apparel Mean?
Supplemental Class E high-visibility apparel is a category of clothing used to increase the visibility of the wearer to reduce the risk of being struck by a moving vehicle. When used for the purpose of meeting the requirements of safety compliance standards, Class E apparel must always be used with other high-visibility equipment; the use of Class E apparel alone is insufficient to meet consensus safety standards for employee visibility.
Unlike Class 1, 2, and 3 apparel, which are comprised of primarily above-waist gear such as jackets and vests, Class E apparel focuses on increasing the visibility of the lower body. Typical Class E ensembles include the use of Class E apparel in conjunction with Class 2 apparel to achieve a Class 3 visibility rating (the highest), as well as in conjunction with Class 3 apparel as a means of augmenting a Class 3 clothing configuration.
Safeopedia Explains Supplementary Class E High-Visibility Apparel
The requirements that a garment must meet to be considered Class E apparel are set by ANSI/ISEA standard 107, which describes a number of criteria for different categories of high-visibility apparel. The primary performance classes (1-3) and the three use-case types (O, P, R) for high-visibility apparel are also described under this standard. OSHA and the Federal Highway Safety Administration (FHSA) view appropriate compliance with ANSI 107 as part of an employer’s duty to ensure worker safety.
Class E apparel typically includes clothing items such as pants, shorts, and bib overalls. As part of a Class 3 ensemble, it may be classified as providing either Type R or Type P visibility protection. Type R apparel is suitable for workers doing routine work in roadway situations. Type P apparel provides additional clothing options for public safety workers who conduct incident response operations on roadways, such as firefighters and other emergency personnel who may find Type R apparel impractical for their duties.
Class E apparel is the only type of supplemental material that can be used as part of the calculations used to determine if a garment is compatible with the ANSI 107 high-visibility apparel standard. Accessory items such as headwear, gloves, and arm bands do not provide sufficiently standardized increases in visibility for ANSI to consider them as part of standards compliance calculations.