Standard EN ISO 20471: High visibility of work clothes

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Standard EN ISO 20471 governs work clothes which allow a high visibility. This type ofEPI (Personal Protective Equipment) is indispensable for ensure that a worker is clearly visible to those around him. We will focus here on what characterizes this nomenclature and in which cases clothes meeting this standard are required.

Professional fields and regulations

The high visibility clothing are particularly necessary for workers working on routes, roadsides and urban settings. According to the law, “Anyone intervening on foot on the road during a construction site or a temporary danger must wear high visibility class 2 or 3 signal clothing, in accordance with the specifications of standard EN ISO 20471” . (Highway Code, Book 1, Part Eight, Article 134)

So these clothes must be worn by public works stakeholders, on the worksites, in the railway trades Where airports, in the road transport, or by rescue services and of police. An individual must also must have a class 2 life jacket in case of breakdowns on the road. We will come back to these class notions by browsing the imperatives of standard EN 20471.

Requirements of standard EN 20471

Clothing of this standard is characterized by two main components who offer them their high visibility properties, what of day as night.

For a optimal daytime visibility, the fluorescent fabrics transform a invisible part of the light (UV) in visible light. The color who can grant these characteristics are yellow, oranges Where red. These colors cannot act at night and do not are only used for the day.

By night, the garment needs retro-reflective bands. These last return the light, and are specifically suitable for return to the source the lights of car headlights or others artificial origins (such as urban lighting). The bands must surround the garment the level of torso, from shoulders, from sleeves and legs for a 360 ° visibility.

A opposition matter can be present on the garment and fit in contrast to the fluorescent part. This one (often blue or black) does not present no high visibility features.

High visibility classes

The clothes below the norm EN ISO 20471 are defined under three distinct classes. They are determined by the proportion per m² from fluorescent materials and retro-reflective present on a garment.

Class 1: the lowest level of visibility, it is not designed for long work on public roads. He can be suitable for the day for the road safety officers. A garment of this class is visible under daylight with a traffic up to 30 km / h.

Class 2: This intermediate level is suitable for long-term work on the public highway, the fast courier services where the work in the dark. Under this class, a garment remains visible in one traffic at maximum speed of 50 km / h.

Class 3: the highest level of visibility possible. He is suitable for work in the dark. In this case, the class 3 garment is there obligatory. The guarantees to stay visible in one traffic up to 90 km / h. This level greatly limit the risk of accidents.

Because it is categorized by the proportion of fluorescent or retro-reflective materials, it is important to note that the class may vary from size to size on the same suit. Indeed, one more small size propose less visible surface, and can therefore be of a lower class to larger sizes. Likewise, in combining a top and a bottom, the final class from full outfit can vary.

Some tips for use

So that your clothing provides visibility specific to their classes, it is advisable to follow certain instructions in order to wear them effectively.

It is necessary avoid obscuring high visibility materials. The accessories (scarves, backpack) or outfits (anti-cold vest) that would cover these areas decrease Properties clothing.

L’garment care must follow the rules indicated on its instructions. The visibility materials have to be as clean as possible for perform their duties.

The lifetime is also to be taken into account. At the end of a number of washes, the characteristics of the standard may not no longer be guaranteed.

As we have seen, high visibility clothing will bring the security needed at various types of professionals. During the choice of this type of PPE, it’s important to check the standard and the class clothing for adapt to the needs of day or night work.