What Are the 3 Classes of High-Visibility Clothing?

What Are the 3 Classes of High-Visibility Clothing?

When providing your employees with high-visibility gear, there isn’t a one-size-fits-all solution. You need to understand what kind of environment they will be working in, and which class of hi-vis safety gear will be best suited for those conditions. But what are the three classes of high-visibility clothing? Allow us to shed some light on the specifics.

Type O

Type O, standing for “off-road”, is defined as apparel that provides daytime and nighttime visual enhancement for workers in occupational environments where hazards like being struck by cars, machinery, and equipment exist. This type includes the most basic hi-vis vests and other garments. Some examples of where Type O is used includes:

  • Workers retrieving shopping carts from parking lots
  • Warehouse workers where machinery such forklifts are in operation
  • Workers in oil and gas extraction, refineries, and mines

Type R

Type R garments include the same benefits as Type O high-visibility garments but also ensure greater visibility when working around highways, roads, and other locations where traffic is common and consistent. This includes the addition of reflective tape – specifically with an “X” on the back and an “H” on the front. This reflective tape helps to show which way workers are facing in low-light conditions by reflecting the headlights of cars as they approach. Examples of when Type R garments are used include:

  • Parking and toll-gate personnel
  • Airport baggage handlers and ground crew
  • School crossing guards

Type P

The final and most complex of the three classes of high-visibility clothing, Type P apparel, is the most “heavy-duty” of garments that construction workers wear when operating heavy machinery and equipment on highways. This type of hi-vis equipment not only helps make workers visible but helps define their human form. This is significant so that drivers and coworkers can see each other and specific movements so they can anticipate their actions. Examples of Type P apparel uses include:

  • Construction on highways
  • Law enforcement personnel
  • Firefighting personnel
  • Accident site investigators