the Difference Between Class 1, 2, and 3 Safety Vests

What is the difference between Class 1, 2 and 3 safety vests?

One of OSJ's efforts to protect workers handling potentially hazardous materials is to force workers to wear vests that are rated and approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). These vests are designed for the safety and comfort of workers to protect workers and consumers.


Class 1 safety vests are suitable for workers in low impact areas with traffic rates no more than 25 mph and where personnel are working far away. Parking attendants, delivery truck drivers, sidewalks or roadside maintenance workers are all examples of jobs that qualify for a Class 1 safety vest. These vests should have at least 155 square inches of reflective tape. The size of the reflective tape can be 6.46 feet of 2 inch tape or 9.39 feet of 1 3/8 inch. The reflective stripes should be in the middle of the 360 degree stripe and above each shoulder. The vest should be either safe yellow or safe orange.


Workers involved in heavy traffic must wear a class 2 vest. Workers who are required to work in areas with poor weather also need a more reflective Grade 2 safety vest. A Class 2 vest will have at least 201 square inches of reflective tape with a diameter of 2 inches. The reflective tape can be 8.3 inch linear feet of 2 inch tape or 12.2 feet of linear 1 3/3 inch tape. Examples of jobs that require a class 2 vest are airport baggage handlers and ground crews, forestry workers, mass parking lots or toll booth personnel and law enforcement personnel. Reflective stripes will be above the shoulder and wrap around one or two 360° horizontal stripes.


The most obvious job required for workers is the work of keeping people in close contact with busy traffic. High-risk jobs include accident site investigators, emergency responders, railroad workers, utility workers, and investigating and marking staff. These workers typically approach traffic that is more than 50 miles per hour, so make them as clear as possible. Level 3 safety vests and garments must have at least 310 square inches of reflective tape with a diameter of 12.92 feet and a thickness of 2 inches. Compared to the 1st and 2nd class safety vests, 3 pieces of clothing also provide more coverage for the arms and legs.


It is important to ensure that you wear the right safety vest for your work. The goal of ANSI and OSHA is to avoid unnecessary accidents and to keep workers safe. Always wear your safety vest as the driver can see that it can work between an accident-free work area or an accident work area.