High Visibility Clothing

When Standing Out at Work is a Matter of Personal Safety

Carhartt high-visibility clothing offers the comfort, craftsmanship and durability expected from this outstanding brand’s traditional workwear clothing – but made especially for workers who need a level of visibility beyond standard workwear.

Carhartt high-visibility and color-enhanced outerwear, shirts, sweats and accessories can provide the visibility needed to protect workers in industries like road construction, railway, survey, utility and other settings at risk from traffic or moving machinery. Carhartt high-visibility workwear uses 3M Scotchlite premium retroreflective taping to create high contrast between the clothing and the ambient background in all light conditions, so workers are easily seen in the headlights of motorists and other vehicle operators at any time of day.

How Carhartt High-Visibility Clothing Works

Carhartt high-visibility clothing is embellished with a reflective material created by 3M™ called Scotchlite™. This works to help make its wearer more visible by retroreflection, a technology that helps the eye perceive light better during nighttime and low-light conditions.

  • When a source of light like car headlights hits the Scotchlite™, the light rays are returned directly to the original light source rather than scattering as would happen normally.
  • This concentrated light causes retroreflective materials to appear brightest to motorists and vehicle operators.
  • Thus, wearers of Carhartt high-visibility clothing become highly visible and stand out in contrast to their surroundings.

Depending on the work environment, the appropriate color-enhanced clothing should be chosen. For example, when a work area has a lot of orange-colored work items like vehicles, signs and construction barrels, lime green color-enhanced clothing would be a good choice. Likewise, for those who work in green environments such as those surrounded by a lot of trees (in parks and forests, for example), then bright orange color-enhanced clothing would be appropriate.

Carhartt High-Visibility Clothing Helps Work Crews Meet Safety Standards

Carhartt high-visibility clothing calls attention to those in work zones, helping work crews meet safety standards. Designed in conjunction with safety experts, the special Carhartt clothing line complies with ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 garment class requirements and reflective material specifications. (While the high-visibility clothing on our site meets this important safety requirement, the industry has not yet established requirements for color-enhanced workwear. Also, please be advised that Carhartt high-visibility clothing is not presently certified to meet the Canadian High-Visibility Safety Apparel standard, CSA Z96-02.)

ANSI (American National Standards Institute) is the private, non-profit organization that administers and coordinates the voluntary standardization in the U.S. The standards for U.S. suppliers of safety and personal protective equipment are developed and published by the ISEA (International Safety Equipment Association).

Carhartt high-visibility garments you’ll see at The Workwear Store are tested and certified by an independent accredited third-party laboratory. Some of the tests include background color testing, colorfastness, burst/tear strength and photometric performance of retroreflective material. Carhartt high-visibility clothing meets requirements for the placement of retroreflective material to ensure compliance with Class 1, 2, 3 and E apparel requirements.

Classification of High-Visibility Workwear

Classification of high-visibility workwear is determined by the ISEA based on the color and complexity of the work environment, the task load of the worker, separation of the worker from moving equipment and vehicles, and other work environment variables.

Class 1 high visibility workwear provides the minimum amount of necessary material to differentiate the wearer from the work environment. ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 Appendix B suggests Class 1 high-visibility workwear is appropriate for:

  • Workers directing vehicle operators to parking/service locations
  • Workers retrieving shopping carts from parking areas
  • Those exposed to the hazards of warehouse equipment traffic
  • Roadside "right-of-way" or sidewalk maintenance workers
  • Delivery vehicle drivers

Class 2 high-visibility workwear provides superior visibility for wearers withadditional coverage of the torso. ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 Appendix B suggests Class 2 high-visibility workwear is appropriate for:

  • Roadway construction workers
  • Utility workers
  • Survey crews
  • Railway workers
  • Forestry Workers
  • School Crossing Guards
  • Parking and/or toll gate personnel
  • Emergency response personnel
  • Airport baggage handlers/ground crew
  • Law enforcement personnel
  • Accident site investigators

Class 3 high-visibility workwear offers greater visibility against both complex backgrounds and through a full range of body movements. Class 3 visibility is enhanced beyond Class 2 by the addition of background and retroreflective material to the arms and/or legs. A sleeveless item worn alone, such as a high-visibility vest, does not meet Class 3 standards. ANSI/ISEA 107-2004 Appendix B suggests Class 3 high-visibility clothing is appropriate for:

  • Roadway construction personnel
  • Utility workers
  • Survey crews
  • Emergency response personnel
  • Flagging crews

Class E high-visibility clothing applies to the addition of pants and shorts to create a complete high-visibility ensemble. When Class E bottoms are worn with a Class 2 or 3 garment, the overall classification for the high-visibility outfit is Class 3.

Requirements for high-visibility clothing vary according to the work environment. For example, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) Federal Highway Administration has published the MUTCD (Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices) which spells out requirements for state-level DOTs. In addition, The Federal Highway Administration (FHWA)has recently published final rule 23 CFR Part 634 Worker Visibility, which requires that all workers within the right-of-way of a Federal-aid highway who are exposed either to traffic (vehicles using the highway for purposes of travel) or to construction equipment within the work area shall wear high-visibility safety apparel (Class 2 or 3).

Because standing out in a work environment around moving vehicles and machinery is so important to personal safety, we recommend layering Carhartt high-visibility clothing over color enhanced workwear. For example, a high-visibility vest worn over a Carhartt color enhanced t-shirt will ensure work crews are easy to see and comfortable on the job.

Shop Carhartt high-visibility clothing at The Workwear Store now!