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ANSI/ISEA Specifications

Stay in compliance with The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) specifications! Read this important information regarding the new standards for safety vests, hard hats and safety glasses.

Ansi Vests

ANSI/ISEA Safety Vests

ANSI/ISEA Safety Vests Specifications

ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 Standard for High-Visibility Public Safety Vests specifies design, performance and criteria for law enforcement personnel, emergency responders, fire officials and DOT personnel. The new ANSI 207 standard does not apply to safety vests worn by construction workers and utility workers. ANSI 207-2006 was created in response to the need for higher visibility and tactical design for public safety employees working along federal highways.

How ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 differs from ANSI/ISEA 107-2004

The primary distinction of ANSI 207 versus ANSI 107 lies in the amount of fluorescent background material. ANSI 207 requires a minimum of 450 in2. This would fall between ANSI 107 Class 1 (217 in2) and Class II (775 in2) garments. The minimum amount of required retroreflective area (207 in2) did not change from ANSI 107 and 207.

ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 Standards

ANSI 107 features 3 classes of high visibility garments, with varied specifications that are based on the worker's job activities. The three classes of garments are differentiated by the requirements for amounts of retroreflective material that need to meet specified performance criteria, the width and placement of the material, design and the color of vest.

Class III ANSI 107 vests provide the highest level of visibility and are designed for workers exposed to high risk environments and traffic exceeding 50 miles per hour. Class III vests have sleeves and are made for all roadway construction personnel and vehicle operators, utility workers, survey crews, emergency responders, railway workers and accident site investigators. ANSI requirements also state that class III vests have 1240 square in. of background material and 310 square in. of reflective material.

Class II ANSI 107 safety vests are designed for workers who need greater visibility in poor weather conditions, and who are exposed to roadways with traffic that exceeds 25 miles per hour. Class II vests are ideal for railway workers, school crossing guards, parking and toll gate personnel, airport ground crews and law enforcement personnel directing traffic. According to ANSI standards, class II vests must have 775 square in. of background material, and 201 square in. of reflective material.

ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 Standards

Again, the new ANSI 207 standard will only affect the Law Enforcement, Emergency Responders, Fire Officials, and DOT Personnel sectors and takes effect November 24, 2008. ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 recognizes the need for these agencies to identify with a specific color during a multi-agency event: Red for Fire Officials, Blue for Law Enforcement, Green for Emergency Responders, and Orange for DOT Officials. The primary distinction of ANSI 207 versus ANSI 107 lies in the amount of fluorescent background material. ANSI 207 requires a minimum of 450 in2. This would fall between ANSI 107 Class 1 (217 in2) and Class II (775 in2) garments. The minimum amount of required retroreflective area (207 in2) did not change from ANSI 107 and 207.


ANSI Hard Hats

Ansi Hard Hats

How ANSI Z89.1-1986 differs from ANSI Z89.1-1997

ANSI Z89.1-1986 separates protective helmets into different types and classes. The standard identifies Type 1 and Type 2 helmets. Type 1 helmets incorporate a full brim; this would be a full brim hard hat. Type 2 helmets have no encircling brim, but may include a short bill on the front; these would be cap style hard hats and bump caps.

ANSI Z89.1 revised standard, "Type" is used to designate whether a helmet provides protection strictly from blows to the top of the head (Type 1) or protection from blows to both the top and sides of the head (Type 2).

ANSI has three classes of electrical performance for helmets: Class A Helmets are designed to decrease the impact of falling objects and to lessen the risk of being exposed to low-voltage electrical conductors. Certified helmets are tested at 2,200 volts of electrical charge. Class B Helmets are also intended to decrease the impact of falling objects, but these helmets reduce the risk of coming into contact with high-voltages electrical conductors. They are tested at 20,000 volts of electrical charge. Class C Helmets also reduce the force of impact of falling objects, but do not protect against electrical contact.

In addition to electrical protection, hard hats are also tested for impact and penetration resistance from blows to the top of the head, flammability resistance, and water absorption. The rigorous testing requirements are described in detail within the standard.

Under Z89.1-1997, the following three classes are recognized: Class G (General) Helmets are the equivalent to the old Class A. Class G helmets are proof tested at 2,200 volts. Class E (Electrical) Helmets are the equivalent to the old Class B. Class E helmets are proof tested at 20,000 volts. Class C (Conductive) Helmets provide no electrical insulation; the alpha designation did not change from the old standard.

Hard hats must also contain user information under the 1997 standard. In addition to the manufacturer's name, ANSI legend and class designation, Z89.1-1997 compliant helmets must be marked with the date of manufacture. Instructions pertaining to sizing, care and service life guidelines must also accompany the hard hat.


ANSI Safety Glasses

Ansi Safety Glasses

There are some changes from older ANSI standards for safety glasses. The follow is a breakdown of specifications for the different components of safety glasses. For the lens of safety glasses: High impact lens must be at least 2mm thick in diameter, and be marked with "Z87+." Basic impact lens must be at least 3 mm thick in diameter. Basic impact lens includes glass and resin lens.

The side shields of safety glasses must be tested for high velocity compliance on basic or high impact frame test platforms. They must be impacted at three specified points at 150 feet per second. All safety shields must be marked with the Z87 and manufacturer's logo indicating ANSI compliance. Although side shields do provide lateral high impact protection, attaching them to basic frames will not upgrade them to high impact status.

The frames of ANSI certified safety glasses must have a permanent and legible manufacturer's logo. Frames that hold prescriptive lenses must be marked "Z87-2." On either the frame or temple, basic impact frames must be marked "Z87," and high impact frames must be marked "Z87+."

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