Who Needs an MCR Safety Vest?
All workers who are exposed to vehicle traffic, work vehicles, or construction equipment—including emergency responders—should wear high-visibility safety apparel that meets the Performance Class 2 or Class 3 requirements of ANSI/ISEA Standard 107.
Why Use an MCR Safety Vest?
“The dangers of not using the proper safety vest are high,” warned Ben Hurt, the Regional Sales Manager for MCR Safety. “When working outdoors, you can easily be hit by oncoming traffic or by moving construction vehicles without the right safety vest. There is even danger indoors at a plant or warehouse. Collisions with forklifts in a warehouse can cause severe injuries.”
Types of Safety Vests
General Purpose Safety Vests
While these vests do not meet ANSI requirements, they do give the wearer additional visual conspicuity. Ideal for warehouse workers, parking lot attendants, yard maintenance workers, and crowd control personnel.
Class 2 High-Visibility Vests
These vests must be visible from 1,280 ft., and use 201 sq. in. of reflective material on 775 sq. in. background. Ideal for construction site workers, school crossing guards, law enforcement, utility workers, railway crews, and more.
Class 3 High-Visibility Vests
These vests must also be visible from 1,280 ft., but are used in situations where risk levels exceed those in Class 2; they use 310 sq. in. of reflective material on a colored background. Used for utility crews, flag crews, roadway workers, survey workers, and more.
Choosing the Right Color
Choosing the right vest is not just about speed, distance, pattern, or color, Hurt said. It’s about being able to quickly recognize a human in a work zone.
“You always want to consider the background colors where you are working, so you don’t blend into the surroundings,” he said. “Pick a vest that makes you stick out when you wear it.”
For example, if you’re working around blacktop with orange safety cones, you might choose a high-visibility vest in a fluorescent lime color. But if you are working around roadside assistance trucks that are painted lime green, then it may be better to wear fluorescent yellow or orange.
“The goal is to stand out from your surroundings,” Hurt added.
Special Features to Consider
When buying a safety vest, Hurt recommends considering the following features, depending on your work routine:
- Flame resistance
- Pencil pockets
- Mic-tab holders
- Badge holders
- Incident command titles
- 5-point breakaway system
“If you work around moving machinery, for example, a 5-point breakaway vest allows a piece of the vest to tear off if it gets stuck in the machine,” Hurt said. “This is ideal for manufacturing workers, police, EMTs, and anyone else who routinely works around heavy equipment.”
More: New MCR Products