Type R High-Visibility Apparel

Definition - What does Type R High-Visibility Apparel mean?

Type R high-visibility apparel is a type of safety clothing that is designed to increase the visibility of workers who face an elevated risk of being struck by a moving vehicle.

Referred to as roadway apparel, Type R apparel must increase the visual conspicuity of workers during both the day and the night. It specifically pertains to workers in areas that are exposed to traffic, such as highway construction workers, crossing guards, and airport ground crew. Type R apparel includes vestments such as certain high-visibility vests, as well as more robust apparel such as heavy jackets.

Safeopedia explains Type R High-Visibility Apparel

When used in the correct occupational setting, both OSHA and the U.S. Federal Highway Administration (FHWA) recognize the use of Type R apparel as a way for employers and workers to meet their general duty to ensure workplace safety. Type R apparel is the most common type of apparel used to meet the regulations of FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices.

The criteria for standards-compliant Type R high-visibility apparel are governed by ANSI/ISEA standard 107-2015, which describes a number of criteria for high-visibility apparel. Type R clothing generally provides the highest level of visibility for its performance class, as it requires a higher amount of high-visibility background material than Type P or Type O apparel does.

Apparel that meets ANSI 107 Type R performance standards provides sufficient protection to distinguish workers from their surroundings in environments in which they are operating on a road, highway, temporary traffic control (TTC) zone, or other context in which they are regularly exposed to large vehicular traffic. Type R apparel may be rated as either Performance Class 2 or Performance Class 3 under the standard. Performance Class 3 must contain more background material and retroreflective strips than Performance Class 2-rated apparel. The placement of those strips is defined by the standard and is prescribed for use in more visually complex or highly hazardous environments.

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