We have put together a guide for you to help you work out which is the best amongst all the classifications, and what each classification represents.
When you see the letters “BS EN” this means it has been certified to the standards set by both Britain and the European Union. The numbers which follow determine what they are safe from.
In the world of high-visibility clothing, you are looking for items which match the EN471 standard. This is the test each product must undertake in order to be certified as safe by an independent body.
After the EN471, often you will see a classification. Available are Class 1, Class 2 and Class 3, all of which have different meanings and classify the level of safety within the test. Sort of like the difference between an A* an A+ and an A on a test or exam. They’re all high marks, but there are grades within the pass.
We will now look at what each class means, so you’re fully aware of the impact it has on your work environment and your safety at work.
This class is the lowest of all the passes to make EN471 certification. This means that the item has a low level of visibility, consisting of nothing more than two reflective bands around each trouser leg.
To achieve a class two rating, you must team a high visibility top containing two reflective strips on each shoulder and one reflective strip across the chest with a pair of trousers outlined in class one. This is the minimum requirement for working by the side of either an A road or B road in the UK.
You must have class three high visibility workwear to work by the side of a motorway, dual carriage way or airport in the UK. To achieve a class three specification, then classes one and two must be adhered too, in addition to a long sleeved high visibility top, containing at least two reflective strips on the arms.
The classifications listed here are merely the minimum amount required to work in the dangerous situations mentioned. We strongly suggest that you take advantage of all available high visibility safety clothing regardless of where you will be working.
High visibility clothing saves lives; especially on the roadside as taking advantage of a class three marks can make you 7 times more visible than if you were to wear ordinary street clothes.
It never hurts to be too safe, and you shouldn’t take chances.