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Hi Vis Standards and Testing


EN ISO 20471

This International Standard specifies requirements for high visibility clothing, which is capable of visually signalling the user’s presence. The high visibility clothing is intended to provide conspicuity of the wearer in any light condition when viewed by the operators of vehicles or other mechanised equipment during daylight conditions and under illumination of headlights in the dark.

High Visibility clothing has a fluorescent surface, combined with reflective material that meets certification requirements in 3 different classes:

EN ISO 20471 Class 3

Class 3 Highest Level

Highest level of protection – required for any persons working on or near motorways or dual-carriage ways or airports. Must incorporate a minimum of 0.80m2 of background material and 0.20m2 of retro-reflective materials. (4 metres of 5cm wide reflective tape)


EN ISO 20471 Class 2

Class 2 Intermediate Level

Required for any persons working on or near A and B class roads, also for delivery drivers. Must incorporate a minimum of 0.50m2 of background material and 0.13m2 of retro-reflective material. (2.60 metres of 5cm wide reflective tape)


EN ISO 20471 Class 1

Class 1 Minimum Level

Minimum level of protection required for any persons working on a private road or to be used in conjunction with a higher classed garment. Must incorporate a minimum of 0.14m2 of background material and 0.10m2 of retro-reflective material. (2 metres of 5cm wide reflective tape)

Quality Testing

The cornerstone of success is stringent quality control. Can you be sure the product you are wearing conforms to EN ISO 20471? A certificate from a test house guarantees that the garment or fabric sent to the test house has attained the EN ISO 20471 standard.

It is not a guarantee that the bulk production meets the standard. Therefore, it is necessary that every roll of fabric and retro reflective tape is tested with highly specialised equipment which guarantees that all production meets the EN ISO 20471 standard.

Reflective Tape Testing

The HiVisTex retro reflective tape used is of the highest quality. Every roll of HiVisTex tape is tested to ensure full compliance to the most up to date versions of EN ISO 20471, ANSI/ISEA 107 and AS/NZS 4602.1 high visibility safety apparel standards. This innovative high visibility tape solution offers the wearer total peace of mind at all times.Hivistex

Hivistex Reflective Tape

HiVisTex is the latest innovation in reflective tape material. HiVisTex tape is constructed from thousands of premium, wide angle, glass beads, placed per centimetre squared. These beads work like thousands of tiny mirrors, reflecting light back towards its source as a brilliant white glow.

Perfect for use in the protective clothing industries HiVisTex tape ensures the wearer ultimate visibility in low light conditions.


This is for checking the performance of retroreflective tape. Every roll of tape is tested to ensure it meets and exceeds the standard requirements.

The retroreflectometer measures the coefficient of two rotating angles. EN ISO 20471 states the reading should not be below 330 (cd/lx.m2) however Portwest insist on a reading of 400 (cd/lx.m2) plus.

Fabric Testing

In the quality control laboratory the Minolta Spectrophotometer is used to check every roll of fabric. This guarantees that the fabric used is fully compliant to the EN ISO 20471 standard.