Two surveyor construction workers wearing orange surveyor safety vests consulting on a construction site

How to Select the Perfect Surveyor Safety Vest for Field Work?

Land surveying can be dangerous, especially if you are doing it in harsher environments or during unexpected freak weather events. For that reason, surveyors constantly have to think of ways to protect themselves when they are out in the field and follow the necessary land surveying safety practices. One of the most important pieces of safety equipment that they have to have on is a safety vest.

However, not every surveyor safety vest is the same. There are various kinds, each of them coming with their own specific characteristics which makes them suitable for different tasks and environments. Therefore, as a surveyor, you have to pick a suitable one depending on the task at hand.

We will help you understand the importance of choosing a suitable safety vest, as we dive into more details and provide you with the necessary tips so you can make the best possible choice.

What to Look for in a Surveyor Safety Vest?

Stats tell us that there are around 150,000 injuries happening on construction sites each year. Those wearing proper safety gear and construction safety vests were able to avoid getting hurt. However, even after being familiar with the potential dangers that come with the job, you still have to know how to properly equip yourself. Putting on the first orange safety vest that you come by simply won’t do, you have to pick one based on the characteristics of your work.

Type of Safety Vest


Milwaukee Orange ANSI Type R Class 2 Surveyor's Safety Vest - 27 Pockets

  • Construction: Tear Resistant, Woven 600D
  • Pockets: 27 (Including Rear Tablet Pocket, Clear ID Holder, 2 Zippered)
  • Moisture Wicking: Stay Cool, Dry Fast
  • Anti-Microbial: Odor and Bacteria Prevention
  • Closure: Heavy-Duty Zipper
  • Size Adjustment: Dual Quick Internal
  • Additional Features: Fall Protection Pass Through, Dual Water Bottle Pockets, Padded Collar
  • ANSI Class: Type R Class 2
  • Visibility: High Visibility
  • Color: Orange
  • Includes: One 48-73-5166 Safety Vest

Milwaukee Yellow ANSI Type R Class 2 Surveyor's Safety Vest - 27 Pockets

  • Construction: Tear Resistant, Woven 600D
  • Pockets: 27 (Including Rear Tablet Pocket, Clear ID Holder, 2 Zippered)
  • Moisture Wicking: Stay Cool, Dry Fast
  • Anti-Microbial: Odor and Bacteria Prevention
  • Closure: Heavy-Duty Zipper
  • Size Adjustment: Dual Quick Internal
  • Additional Features: Fall Protection Pass Through, Dual Water Bottle Pockets, Padded Collar
  • ANSI Class: Type R Class 2
  • Visibility: High Visibility
  • Includes: One 48-73-5162 Safety Vest

You need to understand that there is no one-size-fits-all solution when it comes to safety apparel. A proper surveyor safety vest in combination with a safety hard hat, protection goggles, and safety gloves will help you be more protected. But you still have to know how and where to start when picking proper safety equipment.

Tips for Choosing the Right Safety Vest For Your Job

To get to a proper construction safety vest there are a couple of things to keep in mind. First of all, durable reflective safety vests made out of high-quality materials are what you need to be thinking of. Next, is making sure that the vest is comfortable enough for you to wear in the field.

Then, it needs to be useful, so a surveyor safety vest with pockets will help you store additional pieces of equipment that you happen to be carrying with you. Finally, depending on the situation in the field and where you are going to be working you have to consider the construction safety vest requirements as well.

Even after considering all of these, there are more specifications to think of. Therefore, we will go further into details to help you understand how to make a proper pick.

Pick the Right Color

When it comes to safety vests, picking the right color is much more important than you may think. A different type of color is more suitable for different environments. For instance, darker tones are more suitable for indoor work. On the other hand, bright-colored vests are meant for outdoor activities.

Orange and yellow safety vests are the most common and are usually meant for construction work. While both hues are used due to their visibility, orange safety vests are used as an identifier during more hazardous work. Orange tends to mean “caution,” which is why surveyors should pick it if the job involves adhering to the best practices in hazardous situations.

Check the Classification

Depending on the conditions of a construction site, workers have to wear vests based on the requirements set by the American National Standards. Vests are categorized into Class 1, Class 2, and Class 3 categories, with each one being suitable for different types of conditions.

  • Class 1 safety vest: Most suitable for construction work in low-traffic areas, usually with a speed limit of less than 25mph. Vests can be either orange or yellow, but they also need to have reflective tapes covering about 155 square inches of the vest. The tape on the reflective safety vest also needs to go around the shoulders and over the middle section.
  • Class 2 safety vest: These are more suitable for high-risk environments, usually at a speed limit of 50mph. Class 2 vests are also larger, requiring at least 775 square inches of colored fabric. They also require 201 square inches of reflective tape.
  • Class 3 safety vest: These types of vests come with the highest industry requirements. They are used in traffic traveling over 50mph and for various hazardous environments where visibility is paramount. These types of vests have to have a minimum of 1,240 square inches of colored materials and at least 310 square inches of reflective tape.
  • Don’t Forget About the Weather Conditions

    A surveyor safety vest is suitable for early fall, spring, or summer. That way, people working in the field can work comfortably and work without any problems during hot or even slightly windy weather conditions.

    However, during colder periods, a more suitable option are surveyor safety vest with sleeves. Surveyors still stay protected and worm that way.

    Explore the Fabric Options

    Picking the right sort of materials can depend on the time of the year a surveyor will be wearing a vest. We suggest going for breathable types of fabric, to make it as comfortable as possible. Cotton and polyester fabric can be both water-resistant and flame-resistant, making it more suitable for different kinds of conditions a worker may be exposed to.

    However, there are other options to explore. For instance, vests made out of solid or mesh materials. Mesh fabric keeps a person cool even during a hot day. Also, the air flows freely between the holes, making it breathable. Reflective materials are not only good for visibility. They also help to prevent the body temperature from rising.

    Choose the Right Printing Options

    While you can add various printings on your surveyor’s vest, you have to pick the printed tes, the logo, or both according to the ANSI standards. Vests usually come with prints such as heat transfers, retroreflective printing, and both full-color or single-color printing. Whatever you decide to go with, the first thing that you have to have in mind is that it contrasts with the color of your safety vest.

    Black color text and logo are the most suitable options. These types of prints can most easily comply with the ANSI standards. A worker has to be visible while performing any kind of job in the field. For that reason, any kind of graphics or test printed on a vest should be kept to a minimum.

    Find a Vest with Added Features

    The functionality of a vest is as important as visibility. There a quite a few add-ons and features your vest can have to help you with your work. For instance, safety vests with pockets help you carry small items when you are in the field. Having added space and storage possibilities is invaluable in the field. You can even opt for a surveyor safety vest with back pockets, depending on the type of task and comfort.

    A vest with safety breakaways is a type of vest that can easily come off by pulling it off after applying excessive force. This type of vest is specifically useful for construction sites. It helps to prevent accidents as you can take it off in an instant especially if it gets tangled in heavy machinery.

    Flame-resistant vests are a good thing to have. They come with self-extinguishing properties and won’t catch on fire when they are exposed to flames. These types of vests are necessary if workers are placed in conditions around extreme temperature sources.

    Who is Wearing the Vest?

    One of the parts that gets overlooked when picking a surveyor safety vest is considering who is going to be wearing it. These are not fashion statements so they are not designed to accommodate every body type. For instance, they definitely won’t accommodate a female figure.

    Be sure to get a high-visibility safety vest that will match your body type. If you get a larger one, you run the risk of it getting snatched by the equipment you are working with. There are some adjustable vests as well, which allow workers to fit them and customize them.


    Here are a few additional answers about surveyor safety vests that you can also consider.

    What is a surveyor's safety vest?

    A surveyor’s safety vest is a type of safety equipment designated to keep the workers safe when working in the field. This is particularly useful when they are working in low-visibility conditions as well as road or rail traffic.

    What is a Type 3 safety vest?

    A Type 3 safety vest is a type of vest with the most background materials and reflective tape. They feature at least 1,240 square inches of orange or yellow materials and a minimum of 310 square inches of reflective striping. In most cases, they also come with sleeves.

    What is an OSHA-approved safety vest?

    The main OSHA rule for wearing safety vests is that a worker must be visible from a minimum of 1,000 feet.

    What is the standard for safety vests?

    Safety vests come with an approval or rate from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). They are classified into classes, from 1 to 3, based on the amount of high-contrast fabrics and reflective materials used within them.

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