If your job takes you underground, outdoors at night or into other dim conditions, you know high-visibility clothing is a must. Unfortunately, much of today’s cheap safety apparel lacks the comfort and durability needed for a hard work day. At SONCO, we make it our job to outfit you for the unpredictable with work pants and safety apparel that withstands the pressures of your daily schedule.
Whether you operate heavy construction machinery or run a busy warehouse, you are bound to face hazardous work conditions. High-visibility safety apparel (HVSA) like reflective pants calls out your presence to drivers, equipment operators and others, reducing the risk of collisions and other incidents. Safety pants also keep you cool, dry and protected from the elements.
As an ANSI Class E-compliant product, reflective safety pants combine with Class-2 and -3 apparel to create an overall Class-3 apparel combination. In this FAQ guide, SONCO safety pros answer common questions about high-visibility safety pants and clothing.
What Are the Main Benefits of HVSA-Style Work Pants?
Personal safety and visibility are the primary reasons for wearing high-quality work pants, as well as vests, jackets and bib coveralls. The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) reports that nearly one in five construction jobsite fatalities occurs from a “struck-by” accident, in which a vehicle, piece of equipment or falling object collides with a worker. When properly fitted, high-visibility safety apparel protects you and others from collisions and on-the-job accidents.
Here’s a quick breakdown of popular ANSI pant advantages:
- Protection from elements. Hi-vis safety pants act as a buffer between you and the environment. Sun, wind, storms and other conditions — HVSA pants and gear help shield you from whatever crosses your path.
- Heightened visibility, night or day. Hi-vis PPE has highly reflective properties that convey your location to motorists and construction crews. The human eye reacts to contrasting and bright objects, so it’s easy to notice the placement of fluorescent and reflective materials contrasted with other fabrics. This contrast improves worker visibility and increases driver reaction time during all times of day.
- Fits designed for trip & fall reduction. Unlike loose-fitting reflective vests worn over other clothes, most high-visibility pants have a relaxed yet close fit that zips or adjusts at the boots. Pants move readily with your body, allowing you to navigate all terrain types without tripping over added fabric bulk. If your job keeps you on the move, SONCO reflective safety pants are a great option.
- Breathability & comfort. OSHA-recommended work pants accompany some of the nation’s most demanding and risky jobs, and comfort is essential. Utility workers, highway crews, flaggers, first responders and surveyors rely on HVSA — and they need a pant that breathes, protects their skin, and stretches with movement. High-vis pants are designed with these workforces in mind.
Who Needs Bright-Colored, Reflective Pants?
Our HVSA pant collection is well-suited for these groups and more: highway flaggers, construction crews, utility workers, emergency response managers, surveyors, logistics personnel, warehouse workers and transportation teams. Fitness enthusiasts and runners also wear high-quality reflective pants to increase visibility in low-light or foggy conditions.
What Kind of Safety Pants Should I Choose?
SONCO carries a variety of reflective safety pants, shorts and bib overalls from best-in-class manufacturers. Serving the transportation, construction, roadwork, warehouse and logistics industries, we source HVSA-style pants that are protective, fitted, and waterproof yet breathable. Some of our popular product lines include:
Ultimate Reflective Mesh Pants
Differentiate yourself from the work zone with Premium Brilliant Series Ultimate Reflective mesh pants. Constructed from Ultra-Cool™, 100% polyester mesh with patented Brilliant Plus™ reflective piping, these pants include 1 inch of reflective material and 4.5 inches of contrast material. Other features include:
- Elastic cuffs & zippered boot access
- Heavy-duty cargo pockets with reflective piping
- Snap front & hook-and-loop fly
- Adjustable sides & elastic back for perfect fit
Standard & Premium Brilliant Series Mesh Pants
Also made from Ultra-Cool 100% polyester mesh, our Premium Brilliant Series mesh pants and standard mesh pants include 2-inch reflective striping with noticeable contrast color and elastic waist back.
The Brilliant Series pant includes Brilliant Plus™ reflective piping for extra glow in low light, plus a snap-front closure with adjustable sides. Brilliant mesh pants also have a large cargo pocket for tool access.
Other features of standard and premium mesh pants:
- Black bottom for neat appearance
- Left & right pocket slits
- Lime or orange options (depending on style)
Storm Cover, Storm Stopper Pro & Brilliant Series Rain Pants
Crafted from waterproof, breathable material with seam-sealed construction, Storm Cover rainwear pants, Storm Stopper Pro rain pants, and Brilliant Series rainwear pants pair seamlessly with similar-style rain jackets and bibs. Two-inch-wide reflective bands deliver superior visibility, and ORALITE® prismatic reflective tape ensures increased durability and performance in wet, messy conditions. Other features include:
- Lime & orange color choices
- Black cuffs for neat appearance
- Left & right pocket slits
- Elastic or drawstring waistband
- Adjustable leg cuffs with zipper option for easy boot access
Black Series Rain Pants
Like our other rain pant styles, the Black Series pant comes in lime or orange and includes zippered boot access. An elastic drawstring waist guarantees a good fit, and reflective trim along the outside of the legs enhances low-light visibility. When you need easy tool access, the Black Series’ large, gusseted cargo pockets provide the space you need. Pockets are found on the left and right sides and include reflective trim.
How Does High-Visibility Technology Work?
During daytime, fluorescent apparel appears to “glow” with sun exposure, enabling bright-colored clothing sections to stand out. The glowing effect increases in dim light or foggy environments, where clothing seems to shine even brighter. At night, cars and other lights hit your safety pants’ retro-reflective fabric, which acts like a mirror. With the help of glass beads and microprism technology, the retro-reflective material bounces incoming light back to its source and gives off a glow. Retro-reflective fabrics also glow under overcast skies due to the light-sensitive nature of the beads and prisms.
Compliant high-visibility pants incorporate fluorescent and reflective materials, making wearers visible in all conditions. For more details about HVSA fabric types, colors and minimum area specifications for your unique application, download ANSI/ISEA 107.2020 documentation or contact SONCO today.
Who Governs Regulations About Hi-Viz Pants & Clothing?
- U.S. construction companies, highway contractors and emergency responders look to the latest American National Standard for High-Visibility Safety Apparel (ANSI/ISEA 107-2020) as the authoritative document for HVSA design and performance requirements. This standard breaks down garments by type and application and includes specifications about colors, minimum areas and configurations of background, retro-reflective and combined-performance materials.
- The Department of Transportation Federal Highway Administration has codified ANSI/ISEA 107 and established a policy (along with application guidance) for high-visibility safety apparel. See Code of Federal Regulations, title 23.
- OSHA’s high-vis clothing requirements apply to flaggers and those exposed to construction traffic. The organization refers to part 6 of the FHWA’s Manual on Uniform Traffic Control Devices Section 6D.03, labeled “Worker Safety Considerations.” According to MUTCD 6D.03, construction crews and emergency responders in the right-of-way or exposed to vehicles and construction traffic must wear high-visibility safety apparel.
It is also important to consult state and local authorities and DOTs for additional high-vis pants and clothing regulations that apply in your area.
SONCO Pros Answer Your HVSA Questions
Have a specific question that wasn’t addressed here? The SONCO pros are available to help — online and by phone! Ask our team about reflective pants and other hi-viz clothing designed to protect your crew, ensure safety compliance and reduce jobsite liability. Contact an apparel specialist now!