The EN 17353 standard is a relatively new standard that will begin to appear in the labelling of several workwear garments including those manufactured by Hazchem Safety under the HAZTEC® and ORKA® brands.
There has previously been an element of confusion with end-users where a garment contains reflective tape but is not certified to the Hi-Vis standard EN ISO 20471. Whilst there were two other EN standards relating to garments that may feature reflective tape – EN 1150 and EN 13356 – both of these standards were for non-professional garments (for example, leisure wear including cycling clothing).
EN 17353 has now replaced both EN 1150 and EN 13356, and will now be used to complement EN ISO 20471 in the certification of professional clothing. EN ISO 20471 is the Hi-Vizibility standard that we are well acquainted with, and EN 17353 we will generally be referring to at Hazchem Safety as ‘Enhanced Visibility Clothing’.
Enhanced Visibility Clothing is designed to make wearers more noticeable in moderate risk situations regardless of the daylight conditions or illumination by vehicle headlights or other light sources.
There are 3 designations to the EN 17353 standard, indicated on any garments by the following icons:
Type A: Providing protection in daylight conditions and containing a minimal amount of fluorescent material.
Type B: Provides protection in the evenings and at night. This type is divided into 3 levels:
- B1 – must have free handing reflectors – designed for movement recognition.
- B2 – includes retroreflective devices or materials, either detachable or fixed on the limbs only.
- B3 – includes retroreflective material on the torso or on the torso and limbs, designed for form recognition of the wearer.
Type AB: Provides protection in daylight, evening and at night. Type AB uses the fluorescent in addition to the retroreflective and/or combined enhanced visibility components.
Visibility from all sides shall be obtained by the following placement of fluorescent and/or reflective or combined-performance materials.
- Not less than 40% of the minimum surface of the fluorescent and/or retroreflective material is present on both the front and the back when laid flat.
- Not less than 10% of the minimum surface of the fluorescent and/or retroreflective material is present on both the right and left sides when laid flat.
Performance of the Materials
Whereas EN ISO 20471 refers only to fluorescent Yellow, Orange-Red (what we refer to as Orange) and Red, EN 17353 permits more colours – fluorescent Yellow_Green, Yellow, Yellow-Orange, Orange, Orange-Red, Red and Pink. Pink has become an option in some ‘Hi-Vis’ Waistcoats, but it should be noted that it is not a EN ISO 20471 Hi-Visibility colour – it only applies to EN 17353.
In the workwear industry, the main colours available in workwear fabrics are Yellow, Orange and Red.
The specifications on retroreflective materials for B2, B3, AB2, AB3 are identical to EN ISO 20471. The performance of retroreflective materials for B1 devices are identical as in EN 13356 (now replaced by EN 17353).