Get the Right Reflexive Tape

You purchased your hi-vis rainwear, safety vest, T-shirt or sweatshirt and you believe that you are now highly visible (that is, after all, what hi-vis means, right?). You may be surprised, however to discover that you aren’t as visible as you think. Why? Because not all reflective tape is created equal.

There are primarily two types of reflective tape:

  1. Glass Bead Reflective Material


    Glass Bead reflective tape is made up of thousands of microscopic glass beads (hence the name) “glued” to the tape material. When light is aimed at the tape the tiny glass beads reflect the light back making the wearer “light up”.
    The nature of the glass bead tape makes it highly flexible and lightweight.
    a. The big problem with glass bead tape is that it loses it’s reflective quality when it gets wet. Many people who are wearing a reflective garment with glass bead tape do not realize how much of their reflectivity is lost when the garment is wet, putting them at risk when working outside in the rain at night.
    b. Glass bead tape does not resist abrasion well.

  2. Prismatic Reflective Material


    Prismatic reflective material is made up of thousands of “micro-prisms” that are covered with a transparent film.
    a. The prismatic material is waterproof and does not lose it’s reflective quality when wet.
    b. It is much more abrasion resistant than glass bead material
    Prismatic reflective material is not as flexible or lightweight as glass bead material making it feel somewhat restrictive at times.

Additional note:
Although glass bead material is more flexible (able to bend easily with the garment) it is not stretchable (neither is prismatic material) and because of that it can break. In order to address that problem manufacturers are now able to lay the reflective glass bead tape in strips, allowing the garment to stretch without tearing the reflective tape (see image below).


If you are purchasing a T-shirt, a sweatshirt or any other garment that stretches, consider purchasing one with this type of reflective tape.

Understanding the Standard for High-Visibility Clothing

High-visibility (abbreviated as hi-vis) clothing was designed to make you easier to spot when you are at a work site, out for a walk where vehicles are present or any other time you want to make sure that you are seen. All hi-vis clothing, however, is not created equal. There are different classes, different levels and different types.

The purpose of this paper is to help you navigate these differences to make sure that you have the best protection as well as being compliant.

The ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 standard was designed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) along with the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) in order to determine which hi-vis vest, jacket, raingear, etc… needs to be worn in which situation in order to make sure that employees are visible enough to maintain a safe working environment.

Hi-vis garments are available in raingear, sweatshirts, T-shirts, pants, vests, fall protection vests, hats and incident command vests


There are only three colors that meet the standard. These colors are fluorescent yellow-green,

fluorescent orange-red and fluorescent red. Any other color does not meet the standard. Be aware of this as there are many different color vests available. Only these three colors meet the standard.

Class 1, 2, 3 and E

There are three classes of hi-vis clothing, each for a specific job application

Class 1 – Designed for areas that are removed from traffic or where the traffic that is present never exceeds 25 MPH.

A Class 1 vest or jacket must have a minimum of 6.46 linear feet of 2″ reflective tape or 9.39 linear feet of 1 3.8″ reflective tape and at least 217 in2 of high-visibility background material.

Class 2 – Designed for areas where the traffic does not exceed 50 MPH. As a general rule this includes most roadways but excludes highways.

A Class 2 garment must have a minimum of 8.375 linear feet of 2″ reflective tape or 12.2 linear feet of 1 3.8″ reflective tape and at least 775 in2 of high-visibility background material

Class 3 – Designed for highways and roadways where speeds will exceed 50 MPH.

A Class 3 garment must have a minimum of 12.92 linear feet of 2″ reflective tape and at least 1240 in2 of high-visibility background material.

Class E – Designed for pants. A Class E pair of pants adds additional background material and reflective tape so that, when combined with a class 2 vest, coat or jacket, we end up with a Class 3 assemble.

Level 1 and 2

In addition to having a “class” rating, you will often see a hi-vis garment with a “level” rating. The level rating actually applies to the reflective tape on the garment. Level 1 retro reflective tape must exceed 65cd/(lx • m2) at observation angle 12° and entrance angle 5° cd/(lx/m2) and a level 2 must exceed 330cd/(lx • m2) at observation angle 12° and entrance angle 5°.

Type “O’, “P” and “R”

Finally, there is also a “type” classification for hi-vis garment designed to reflect the environment in which they are used.

Type O – The “O” stands for “Off-road”.

Type R – The “R” stands for “Roadway”

Type P – The “P” stands for “Public Safety”

Additional considerations

Many hi-vis garments are now also available in a flame resistant material for work in environments where flammability is an issue. Look for the “FR” on the label.

Counterfeits and Fakes

There are plenty of hi-vis garments out there that are made with inferior materials that do not meet the standard. These garments may or may not have fake labels in them that say that they are ANSI approved when, in fact, they are not. Only purchase garment made by trusted manufacturers like M. L. Kishigo, PIP, Radians, Tingley, Majestic, Ergodyne, Blaklader and Occunomix.


Download the “Understanding the Standard for High-Visibility Clothing” whitepaper

Why you can’t find Hi-Vis Clothing in Cotton

You don’t particularly like polyester but for some reason you can’t seem to find hi-vis clothing in cotton. Ever wonder why that is? Here’s the answer from M. L. Kishigo

Our fabric vendors have not yet been able to supply ML Kishigo with ANSI testing data to support 100% cotton in high visibility lime and/or orange. The continuing reason they have not been able to supply us with this documentation is cotton has not yet been able to pass the ANSI Colorfastness Performance Test. Cotton is a natural fiber that does not hold color as well as say a synthetic fiber like polyester. The ANSI Standard tests in accordance with AATCC 16.3-2012, Colorfastness to Light Xenon Arc. This test exposes the material for 40 hours AFU (accelerated fading units) . 100% Cotton due to its natural fibers not being able to hold color, after 40 hours of AFU fails for colorfastness (fading) according to the ANSI Standard.

Need to purchase hi-vis clothing?

2016 Work Zone Awareness Week is April 11-15


It’s Work Zone Awareness Week and it couldn’t come at a better time. A new study out claims that drivers are distracted more than half the time they are on the road, which doubles their risk of a car crash. There’s no doubt about it: this week is an important one to encourage safe driving through highway work zones. While awareness is critical, workers unfortunately aren’t in control of whether a driver picks up that call and takes their eyes off the road for a split second.

To help improve worker visibility (and safety), ANSI/ISEA recently updated their 107 standard. Download and read our hi-vis “bright paper” to learn more struck-by stats, how the revised guidelines of the ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Standard helps improve worker visibility on roadways and other jobsites, and workplace best practices to keep you and your crew safe.

This week – but really every week – make a seen.


From M. L. Kishigo…


The new ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Standard was just released at the beginning of February. The new Standard provides the most significant changes since the standard was developed in 1999.

Below are some highlights of the new ANSI 107-2015 compared to the ANSI 107-2010.

See below or download our .PDF for a breakdown of the
“NEW ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 STANDARD – Quick Facts You Need To Know”

1. Updated Garment Types & Classes:

EXISTING: There are still three garment Performance Classes based on amounts of background materials and reflective materials (Class 1, 2, 3 and Supplemental Class E).

NEW:  3 new types of garments have been outlined within each of the 3 Performance Classes that provide further guidance for work activities being performed.


2. Supplementary Class E & Updated Class 3 Ensemble:

NEW: Leg Gaiters are NOW considered Class E Compliant as long as the background and retroreflective material meet the minimum ANSI requirements.

NEW:  A Class E item (such as a pair of compliant Leg Gaiters) can now be worn with a Performance Class 2 or Class 3 upper body garment making the overall classification for the ensemble Performance Class 3.


3. Sizing Revision For Smaller Workers:NEW: ANSI 107-2015 has made apparel accommodations to adapt to smaller sized wearers.

NEW: The new 2015 Standard reduces the background material requirements for the smallest size offered. Type R (“roadway”) Class 2 and Class 3, are now offered in a “true to size – Size S”. The new sizing accommodation brings comfort, and more importantly added safety for smaller workers.

4. Updated Label Pictogram Requirement:EXISTING: All ANSI garments have been required to have a Pictogram label.

NEW: The New 2015 Standard requires all ANSI garment labels to clearly designate 3 factors:


X: Type of Garment. (O, R, or P)

Y: Class of Garment. (1, 2, 3 or E)

Z: FR or Non-FR Designation

NEW: If the garment is FR Compliant, the specific standard must be appropriately noted on the label.

NEW: If the garment is Non-FR, the pictogram must clearly be labeled “NON-FR” and the following statement must be present:

“This garment is not Flame Resistant as defined by ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Section 10.5.”

For a more in-depth overview on the updates included within ANSI/ISEA 107-2015
please see below to download a .PDF copy of our Technical Document:

“ISEA Board Releases New Standard: ANSI/ISEA 107-2015 Tech Doc”

New Product Spotlight

Tingley Phase 2 Hi-Vis Jacket


The Phase 2 Fleece Jacket

– Breathable, Insulating, Wind Resistant, High Visibility Outerwear

An innovative jacket constructed from a combination of 150 denier fluorescent yellow-green polyester and 360 gram black fleece that keeps you warm and visible, yet cool and comfortable for 3 season protection.

• ANSI/ISEA 107 Class 3 compliant jacket for high visibility.

• Athletic apparel design and performance adapted for work environments.

• Insulating heavy weight fleece provides warmth and comfort.

• Fluorescent yellow-green background material for excellent daytime visibility.

• 2″ silver reflective tape reflects light for 360º nighttime conspicuity.

• 4 exterior pockets for added convenience.

Ideal Applications: For use in environments where high visibility and warmth are desired for wearer safety and comfort.


• Breathable, insulating fabric for 3 season comfort

• Overhead shoulder design for complete freedom of movement

• Storm fly front and zipper front closure seal out wind

• Front hand warmer pockets with zipper closure

• Right and left breast security pockets with zipper closure

• Adjustable elastic drawcord at waist for easy adjustment

• Black material in high wear areas helps conceal dirt

• Sleeves are lined for ease of use

• 2 Mic Tabs

• Can be zipped into the Icon™ (J24122 & J24129) outer shell to create a multi-season comfort system.

Phase 2™, Icon™, and Job Sight™ are trademarks of Tingley Rubber Corp.

Click here to order this jacket




Bomber Jacket for $28.85!

I promised a couple of weeks ago to let you know when we had cool new products or good deals.

Because we bought a very large quantity of these Bomber Jackets we are able to sell them for $28.85

Here’s the information:

Majestic 75-1313 Bomber Jacket


PU coated polyester with fully taped seams, ANSI Class 3, Waterproof.
Not detachable concealed hood. Sewn in quilted liner
• Lined bomber jacket is loaded with features!
• PU coated polyester with fully taped seams
• Concealed, detachable hood.
• Elastic ribbed waist, wrist, and collar keep out the cold
• Inside breast and outside slash pockets
• Cell phone pocket
• Sewn in quilted liner
• Meets ANSI / ISEA 107-2004 Class 3 standard
• Sizes S-7X

Click here to order this great deal

OSHA Reinforces Importance of Hi-Vis Apparel

Got this in my inbox this past week from Ergodyne and thought I’d pass it along to you all.

tech bulletin
“Inspection and Citation Guidance for Roadway and Highway Construction Work Zones” Document Instructs OSHA Compliance Officers On Hi-VisOn October 16th, 2012, OSHA released a document that instructs its Compliance Safety and Health Officers to wear ANSI/ISEA 107-compliant Class 2 or Class 3 high visibility apparel when inspecting roadway and highway construction work zones. Direction is also provided for how to cite those who are not compliant.ANSI/ISEA 107-COMPLIANT APPAREL TO BE WORN BY OSHA’S CSHOsOSHA employs Compliance Safety and Health Officers in the field…you know, the folks who write the tickets and issue fines. These CSHOs have been formally instructed as follows:”During the day, the CSHO shall wear, at a minimum, a Class 2 high-visibility safety vest” and “During the night, the CSHO shall wear, at a minimum, a Class 3 high-visibility safety coverall/jumpsuit or a Class 3 high-visibility safety jacket and Class E high-visibility pants, or bib overalls.”Of course this makes perfect sense as the 2009 MUTCD (the law for “all things roadway”) requires all workers in the rightaway of roadway to wear ANSI/ISEA 107-compliant Class 2 of Class 3 apparel…and these CSHOs are, after all, workers.

View the entire Technical Bulletin on the Inner Sanctum.

For more details on the recent OSHA document or for questions on anything regarding ANSI/ISEA 107, please contact Andy Olson at 651.642.5858 or andy.olson.