The Difference Between CSA and ANSI Hi-Vis Standards
21st Dec 2022
Certain businesses must meet hi-vis compliance standards to uphold workplace safety and reduce penalties. In the US, employers follow hi-vis standards recognized by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). In Canada, employers follow the standards of the CSA Group, formerly the Canadian Standards Association. Discover the difference between CSA and ANSI hi-vis standards.
ANSI vs. CSA
The ANSI is a private, nonprofit organization that represents the interest of hundreds of thousands of companies and organizations. ANSI accredits procedures and approves documents submitted by standards-developing organizations.
The CSA is accredited by the SCC, Canada’s leading accreditation organization, as a standards development organization. It’s a nonprofit membership association serving industries, the government, and consumers.
Hi-Vis Garment Classifications
The ANSI/ISEA 107 standard classifies hi-vis garments into three types and four classes. The types correspond to the workers’ environmental settings. The four classes indicate the amount of fluorescent and retroreflective material in each garment and their configuration.
Workers who do not operate near traffic but need enhanced visibility wear Type O garments. Workers who spend some time on the road wear Type R garments. Public safety workers, including law enforcement, firefighters, and EMS workers, wear Type P.
In contrast, CSA Z97 categorizes hi-vis garments into three classes: Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3. The classes specify the garments’ design criteria regarding the background material and retroreflective material.
Background Material Requirements
There are small differences between ANSI and CSA hi-vis standards regarding background material. ANSI-approved fluorescent colors are yellow-green, orange, and red. CSA fluorescent hi-vis colors are yellow-green, orange-red, red, bright yellow-green, or bright orange-red.
For instance, in both systems, Class 1 garments offer the lowest amount of enhanced visibility. The minimum area of visible background material in both ANSI Class 1 and CSA Class 1 garments is 217 square inches.
Additionally, ANSI Class 2 garments have a minimum area of 775 square inches of visible background material. CSA Class 2 requires full coverage of the shoulders and front, back, and sides of the upper torso. The sides must have a minimum coverage of 50 percent from the bottom edge of the garment to the shoulder point.
Retroreflective Material Requirements
ANSI Class 1 garments require 155 square inches of retroreflective material or combined-performance material. The retroreflective material must have a minimum width of one inch. CSA Class 1 garments require 155 square inches of retroreflective or combined-performance material.
ANSI Class 2 garments require 201 square inches of retroreflective material or combined-performance material. The retroreflective material must have a minimum width of 1.375 inches. CSA Class 2 garments require 202 square inches of retroreflective material.
For CSA garments, all retroreflective bands much be a minimum of 50 mm, or about 1.97 inches, wide. While ANSI permits retroreflective material in a box design on the back, CSA requires a symmetric X pattern from the shoulders to the waist.
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