The class we use will depend on the level of protection we need in our area of work

High visibility clothing is essential to prevent potential accidents and be visible to other people. But, how do we class high visibility clothing? It is divided into three classes, according to the minimum surface area of the background material and retro-reflective material that the item of clothing consists of.  The higher the class (and therefore the retro-reflective surface), the higher the level of protection it provides us with.

The contrast between the clothing and the background means that the person wearing the high visibility work clothing is more visible and this is achieved through fluorescent materials (if it is a daytime situation) or reflective materials (in the case of poor light). 

All high visibility clothing is designed to be the first element of protection or defence in the event of an accident due to a vehicle-pedestrian collision or moving machinery. Therefore, clothing must comply with specific standards which are contained in ISO 20471/13+A1/16 in accordance with Spanish law 31/1995.

Classification of high visibility clothing

It is grouped into three classes and each one of them must comply with minimum surface areas of the visible materials. These quantities are:

Minimum surface areas required for visible material in m2.

Class 3 garmentsClass 2 garmentsClass 1 garments
Background material0,800,500,14
Retro-reflective material0,200,130,10
Combined material0,20
  • Class 3 garments: They provide us with 360º visibility, as well as recognition of the human shape. They are the garments that give us the highest level of visibility.  Which workers have to use them? Those who face serious hazards in the course of their work and who perform high burden tasks, in other words, they find themselves in situations of inclement weather and close to traffic with speeds exceeding 80 km/h.  In addition, they are garments that provide extra visibility in areas such as the legs and arms.

  • Class 2 garments: They are items of clothing that must be used in activities where a greater visibility is required in inclement weather conditions. This class encompasses workers who divert their attention from traffic which is approaching or nearby travelling above 40 km/h.

  • Class 1 garments: This class is designed to be used by workers who need to be seen fully by the traffic that approaches them. They are garments that provide visibility in cases where there is sufficient separation between the worker and the traffic, since it circulates at speeds of less than 40 km/h.

what are the 3 classes of high visibility clothing

So, as we have seen, it is important to wear the correct class of high visibility clothing depending on the work we carry out and protect ourselves in the event of potential accidents or vehicle-pedestrian collisions. Furthermore, they are garments that can be customised with elements of our company, but always following the regulations.  

At TS2 Ibérica, we can help you if you have any queries about it. On our website you will find an extensive catalogue of high visibility clothing and accessories for the work environment. Don’t hesitate to contact us!