Safety and You: The Importance of Safety Gear When Working on the Road
When working on the roadways, every good worker knows how important it is to stay safe while getting the job done. It’s extremely important to be as visible as possible so you can be seen by oncoming motorists when working in a construction zone.
One way to ensure your safety is for OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) to mandate the wearing of ANSI (American National Standards Institute) safety equipment when working on any road in the country.
These standards mostly relate to wearing safety vests and are divided into three classes. Class I, Class II and Class III. The vests are designed for not only safety, but comfort as well. Let’s go ahead and look at the differences.
A Class 1 Safety Vest is for workers working in low impact areas and the least dangerous construction areas. This relates to workers working in residential areas where speeds usually doesn’t exceed 25 mph. The workers are also usually far away from the traffic as well. Types of workers who wear this vest include parking service attendants, sidewalk or roadside maintenance crews, delivery drivers and other types of similar workers.
The vests have a 155 square inches of reflective tape which is the mandatory minimum for the vest’s safety standards. The tape’s dimensions can either be 6.46 linear feet of 2 inch tape or 9.39 linear feet of 1 ⅜ tape. The reflective stripes are around the middle of the vest with a full 360 degree stripe above each shoulder. Also, the vest should either be safety orange or safety yellow.
Class 2 Safety Vests are for those who are working in heavier traffic areas with traffic up to 50 mph or working in areas where there is poor visibility due to weather. The Class 2 vest is much more reflective and has a minimum of 201 square inches of reflective tape and is 2 inches in diameter.
The tape is 8.373 linear feet of 2-inch tape. Reflective tape is required to be on the shoulders and around the middle in either one or two 360 degree stripes. Examples of workers who wear the Class 2 vests include airport baggage handlers, ground crew, forestry workers and law enforcement.
Class 3 Safety Vests are for workers who work in high volume traffic areas including major highways and interstates all across the nation. Since speeds exceed 50 mph, it is important for workers to be as visible as they possibly can be.
These safety vests and other gear have a minimum 310 square inches of reflective tape that is 12.92 linear feet and 2-inches thick. Class 3 safety clothing provides more coverage over a worker’s arms and legs than the other two safety vests cover.
Remember, when heading to your worksite, make sure you have the proper safety vest that is appropriate for your working area. Being visible to motorists passing by can mean all the difference between remaining safe and an accident occurring. If you need to get a safety vest or safety equipment for your job, you can get that and much more from Toolbarn.com.