Safety vests are used by firefighter, first aid, and police alike. When picking the right safety vest, it all falls down to visibility requirements set depending on the area where work is being done. The different class types all depend on the amount of required visible background material and reflective material. There are basically two levels of ANSI, the class 2 and class 3. This guide is intended to help you decide which class is best for you and your crew.
The most basic level will be class 2. It requires 775 inches of fluorescent material and 201 inches of reflective material. They are required on sites with traffic going at speeds at least 25 mph and near heavy machinery.
Class 3 safety vest will be in better visibility than class 2. They have 465 more square inches of fluorescent material and 109 more inches of reflective tape. They also have sleeves which class 2 doesn’t. They are required for work sites near the traffic which will be 50 mph greater and for higher visibility during bad weather, or are worn by emergency responders working on or near highways and freeways.
So which one will be more appropriated for you? Class 2 vests are more economic, which have lighter reflective material, and better for warmer weather. But they provide lower visibility and can be used in fewer places. Class 3 provides better visibility for you and can be used in more sites. While they are more expensive, they are sometimes the better choice. Which one is right for you depend on your requires.