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EN471 / EN ISO 20471 Hi-Visibility

This EN Norm specifies the requirements for clothing designed to emphasize the wearer's presence visibly in order to make the wearer more noticeable in hazardous situations during the day and at night (illumination in car headlights).

Stay protected against Electrical ARC by wearing the Fire Bear !

ARC Standards

EN471 / EN ISO 20471 Hi-Vizibility

EN 471

The contents of this EN Norm

This standard's icon is a safety vest placed under two numbers that represent the X and Y values. The top value (X) indicates the garment's class (1 to 3). Class 1 is the least visible and Class 3 the most visible. The lower value (Y) specifies the quality of the reflective strips (1 or 2) incorporated in the garment. The Y value indicates how well the reflective strip reflects. Fire Bear only uses reflective tape that has the highest Y value of 2

The X and Y values

The X value is derived from the number of square metres of fluorescent fabric and the number of square metres of reflective strip incorporated in a garment.


Class 1

Class 2

Class 3

Fluorescent Material




Reflective Material




Combined Material




Class 1: not suitable for working on public highways

Class 2: for roadwork with traffic travelling at a maximum speed of 50 km/hour

Class 3: for roadwork with traffic travelling at higher permissible speeds

The fluorescent fabric must encircle the torso, sleeves and trouser legs. And the difference in surface area between the front and back may be a maximum of 40% – 60%. The reflective strip must be 50 mm wide and the space between 2 reflective strips must be at least 50 mm. The distance from ‘the end’ of the garment (e.g. the end of a trouser leg) to the reflective strip must also be at least 50mm. Reflective strips can be positioned in a variety of different ways; a number of examples are given in Appendix A.


EN471 has now been replaced with the EN ISO, and which includes the following improvements:

1)      The Class 1 retro-reflective tape is not an option anymore, because the ISO 20471 requirements for single performance retro reflective tape is equal to the EN 471 Class 2 tape.  On the other hand, the performance after washing the test method differs as 20471 requires each cycle to be a wash and dry cycle. This was not the case for the EN471, as it only required washing after the last cycle. In addition to this, product markings will no longer state the performance class of the retro reflective tape. However, the combined performance tape may still be used on class 1 garments (again, the test method has changed)

2) The placement of the retro-reflective tape) although the mandatory patterns for retro-reflective tape has not changed, it now clarifies that additional bands of tape may be used to achieve the required areas

3) It is also essential for the Class 3 garments to cover the torso and have either full length sleeves and/or full length legs

4) For the garments that have short sleeves, if the sleeve obscures a torso band of retro reflective tape, changes mean that the garment must now also have a band of retro-reflective tape about the sleeves.

5) If there is a maximum number of washes (or Dry Cleans cycles)  stated by the manufacturer then fluorescent background material must adhere to the chromaticity and luminance requirements after the specified number of washes.  If no maximum number of washes have been stated then it must meet the requirements after 5 washes and this must also be reflected in the user information.

6) The tensile strength, burst strength and tear strength (on coated fabrics/ laminates) requirements on fabrics have been reduced.

9) Additionally, colourfastness to perspiration has had the staining requirement increased to four.

10) Colourfastness to washing or dry cleaning has had the staining requirement reduced to four for the non-fluorescent fabrics.

11) Water vapour permeability requirements for fabrics (which excludes coated/laminate fabrics that protects against rain) has been amended to <5 m2Pa/W or water vapour permeability index <=0.15. This is not essential for vests/waistcoats


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