Class 1 High-Visibility Apparel

Definition - What does Class 1 High-Visibility Apparel mean?

Class 1 high-visibility apparel is a category of safety clothing that describes the ability of the clothing to increase the visibility of the wearer. It is used by workers who face an elevated risk of being struck by a moving vehicle; however, the minimal level of increased visibility that it provides means that it is only suitable for use in environments in which the worker is operating within non-visually complex environments.

These environments include warehouses and other non-roadway settings in which vehicles may be present, such as parking structures. When used within these contexts, the use of Class 1 apparel is usually recognized by OSHA as part of a suitable safety program for off-road workers who face a risk of being struck by vehicles. Class 1 apparel is not sufficient to meet the Federal Highway Administration’s (FHWA) visibility requirements as laid out under the Manual of Uniform Traffic Control Devices (MUTCD).

Safeopedia explains Class 1 High-Visibility Apparel

The requirements for Class 1 high-visibility apparel are described under ANSI/ISEA standard 107-2015, which provides a number of criteria for different categories of high-visibility apparel. The two other primary apparel performance classes are Class 2 and Class 3, both of which have higher visibility requirements than Class 1 apparel. All Class 1 apparel is also categorized as Type O apparel under the same standard, which means that it only provides enough visibility to be suitable for use in off-road/non-road situations, such as in warehouse and mining settings.

Class 1 apparel does not provide workers with sufficient visibility to operate safely within more complex or dangerous/high-risk environments, such as on highways or city roadways. This means that it does not meet OSHA's general duty safety requirements if used in these contexts, and it is only recognized as appropriate for use in the limited off-road situations for which the standard describes it as being suitable.

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