Optimal standards for optimum protection

DIN EN ISO 20471 sets out test methods and requirements for high-visibility clothing

They are a familiar sight: Men and women that are conspicuous from afar thanks to their fluorescent orange clothing, with retroreflective strips ensuring they even stand out in the dark. The draft standard DIN EN ISO 20471 "High visibility clothing- Test methods and requirements" has been issued by the Personal Protective Equipment Standards Committee (NPS) and is a revised document that takes into account new developments. The parties involved in the work include manufacturers, testing laboratories, employers' liability associations and public authorities, with experts representing Germany, Britain, Denmark, Japan, Finland, Norway, Sweden, Spain, Italy, Sweden and the USA, among others.

Revision of the standard had become necessary due to the internationalization of the project, and also because of new findings regarding the visibility of persons.
The draft of DIN EN ISO 20471 specifies requirements to be met by high-visibility clothing designed to be worn in situations in which the wearer is exposed to a high risk (such as when carrying out motorway maintenance work). One change that users will immediately notice affects the classic waistcoat: Studies have shown that the wearer of a waistcoat can be perceived much more readily if there are not only one or two bands of retroreflective material encircling the torso but also two bands of the same type of material running vertically from the front to the back over each shoulder.

High-visibility warning clothing features materials that increase the conspicuity of wearers both during the day and in the dark. In this way they can be seen more easily, thus lowering the risk of accidents.
The draft stipulates requirements relating to the colour and retroreflection of these materials, their arrangement, and minimum areas to be incorporated.

You are invited to submit your comments on this draft standard until 23 October 2010. Details can be found on the draft standards portal at www.entwuerfe.din.de.