EN 471 Standards Certification
The EN 471 standard clearly defines the requirements for safety clothing and high visibility clothing used to improve visibility and emphasize the presence of the wearer in environments where visibility is an issue, or when the wearer is unable to fully concentrate on traffic in their immediate vicinity. It's intention is to increase visibility in all light conditions, but hazardous situations in particular (such as at night, where visibility can be intensified with light).
Defining the EN471 Certification
Each certification uses a standard picture or pictogram to allow for easy identification on labeling and tech or data sheets. The standard pictogram for EN471 is a safety vest in proximity to two numbers - the X and Y values. The top X value indicates the class of the garment from 1 to 3, 3 being the most visible. The "Y" value indicates the intensity and retro-reflective performance of the reflective tape or material on the garment.
EN471 - Examining the X Value
High visibility clothing encompasses two things to improve visibility. Reflective tape or reflective material (night time) and fluorescent color (day time). The X value is derived from the number of square meters of reflective stripping within the garment and the number of square meters of fluorescent fabric.
Class 1 - Offers the least protection and visibility and is not suitable for use on public highways. It's is used in low traffic environments such as parking lots and general work sites where equipment traffic does not exceed 25mph.
Class 2 - Used in locations where proximity to traffic is much closer, with potential for traffic to exceed 25mph.
Class 3 - Highest visibility protection for utility workers, road crews and emergency personnel with high speed potential and the highest risk of injury.
(see article on safety garment classifications here) <- link to "safety garment classifications" article
EN471 - Examining the Y Value
The Y value of the standard is determined by the quality of the reflective strip in the safety garment, and the value is shown as either 1 or 2. A value of 2 is the highest reflective performance.
EN471 Standard Requirements
The fluorescent fabric must encircle the torso and include the sleeves and legs. The difference in surface area between the anterior and posterior of the garment may be up to 60%. Reflective stripping must be 50mm wide with a space of at least 50mm between the reflective strips. There are no standards for positions of reflective strips, trim or design.