Visibility products are personal protective equipment (PPE) worn by persons to protect against health and safety hazards. Visibility products put on the marked in the EU must be CE marked and certified. The following is a quick overview of relevant standards to obtain the CE mark for Visibility products:
Lightweight High Visibility Garments for High Risk Situations
High visibility garments provide protection by making the user visible, e.g. in traffic situations. In a professional setting, the employer must conduct a risk assessment at the work place and equip the worker with a suitable product solution. The EN ISO 20471 is the product standard for high risk situations and replaces the old EN 471.
The standard divides CE marked garments in three classes.
EN ISO 20471 Class 1. Provides the lowest level of visibility. May provide sufficient protection where the risk level is low. Since the background colour requirement in this class allows for the use of many alternative colours in addition to the fluorescent colours, these garments are also used for other purposes than visibility, e.g. to distinguish
between different functions or roles.
EN ISO 20471 Class 2. Provides considerably better protection than class 1. Most often, this level of visibility provides sufficient protection for most usage areas. Examples are construction sites, car parks, airports, harbours, loading bays and railroads.
EN ISO 20471 Class 3. Provides the highest level of safety and is therefore suitable in high risk situations. Mostly used near dense traffic at high speed.
In addition, high visibility garments may incorporate additional safety features. For these purposes, other standards may also be used. As an examples, a high visibility garment can be certified to ISO 14116, the standard for limited flame spread.
Lightweight High Visibility Garments for Sport/Leisure
For reflective vests used in non-professional situations, a separate standard is applicable.
EN 1150. The garments in this standard do not provide the same level of visibility as EN ISO 20471 class 2 and 3. The norm does not divide products into classes. The products are instead chosen based on the height of the user.
Reflective accessories are intended to make the user visible by vehicle headlights at night.
EN 13356. The standard establishes performance levels as well as minimum area requirements for different types of reflective accessories (e.g. hanging reflectors, stickers and slap-wraps). The standard does not apply to garments.
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