What performance level is needed for high-visibility safety apparel in a work zone?
While ANSI would like to see the Type 3 performance for high speed roads, the MUTCD only requires Type 2 or 3 performance level. However, Type 3 should be considered for flaggers in nighttime work. See below for the critical text from the MUTCD. Going to the higher level, which requires more than just a vest, is something that should be considered in any situation when there are visibility issues.
Section 6D.03 Worker Safety Considerations
01 Equally as important as the safety of road users traveling through the TTC zone is the safety of workers. TTC zones present temporary and constantly changing conditions that are unexpected by the road user. This creates an even higher degree of vulnerability for workers on or near the roadway.
02 Maintaining TTC zones with road user flow inhibited as little as possible, and using TTC devices that get the road user's attention and provide positive direction are of particular importance. Likewise, equipment and vehicles moving within the activity area create a risk to workers on foot. When possible, the separation of moving equipment and construction vehicles from workers on foot provides the operator of these vehicles with a greater separation clearance and improved sight lines to minimize exposure to the hazards of moving vehicles and equipment.
03 The following are the key elements of worker safety and TTC management that should be considered to improve worker safety:
A. Training—all workers should be trained on how to work next to motor vehicle traffic in a way that minimizes their vulnerability. Workers having specific TTC responsibilities should be trained in TTC techniques, device usage, and placement.
B. Temporary Traffic Barriers—temporary traffic barriers should be placed along the work space depending on factors such as lateral clearance of workers from adjacent traffic, speed of traffic, duration and type of operations, time of day, and volume of traffic.
C. Speed Reduction—reducing the speed of vehicular traffic, mainly through regulatory speed zoning, funneling, lane reduction, or the use of uniformed law enforcement officers or flaggers, should be considered.
D. Activity Area—planning the internal work activity area to minimize backing-up maneuvers of construction vehicles should be considered to minimize the exposure to risk.
E. Worker Safety Planning—a trained person designated by the employer should conduct a basic hazard assessment for the worksite and job classifications required in the activity area. This safety professional should determine whether engineering, administrative, or personal protection measures should be implemented. This plan should be in accordance with the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, as amended, "General Duty Clause" Section 5(a)(1) - Public Law 91-596, 84 Stat. 1590, December 29, 1970, as amended, and with the requirement to assess worker risk exposures for each job site and job classification, as per 29 CFR 1926.20 (b)(2) of "Occupational Safety and Health Administration Regulations, General Safety and Health Provisions" (see Section 1A.11).
04 All workers, including emergency responders, within the right-of-way who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to work vehicles and construction equipment within the TTC zone shall wear high-visibility safety apparel that meets the Performance Class 2 or 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107–2004 publication entitled "American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel and Headwear" (see Section 1A.11), or equivalent revisions, and labeled as meeting the ANSI 107-2004 standard performance for Class 2 or 3 risk exposure, except as provided in Paragraph 5. A person designated by the employer to be responsible for worker safety shall make the selection of the appropriate class of garment.
05 Emergency and incident responders and law enforcement personnel within the TTC zone may wear high-visibility safety apparel that meets the performance requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 publication entitled "American National Standard for High-Visibility Public Safety Vests" (see Section 1A.11), or equivalent revisions, and labeled as ANSI 207-2006, in lieu of ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 apparel.
Section 6E.02 High-Visibility Safety Apparel
01 For daytime and nighttime activity, flaggers shall wear high-visibility safety apparel that meets the Performance Class 2 or 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107–2004 publication entitled "American National Standard for High-Visibility Apparel and Headwear" (see Section 1A.11) and labeled as meeting the ANSI 107-2004 standard performance for Class 2 or 3 risk exposure. The apparel background (outer) material color shall be fluorescent orange-red, fluorescent yellow-green, or a combination of the two as defined in the ANSI standard. The retroreflective material shall be orange, yellow, white, silver, yellow-green, or a fluorescent version of these colors, and shall be visible at a minimum distance of 1,000 feet. The retroreflective safety apparel shall be designed to clearly identify the wearer as a person.
02 For nighttime activity, high-visibility safety apparel that meets the Performance Class 3 requirements of the ANSI/ISEA 107–2004 publication entitled "American National Standard for High-Visibility Apparel and Headwear" (see Section 1A.11) and labeled as meeting the ANSI 107-2004 standard performance for Class 3 risk exposure should be considered for flagger wear.