EN 471, currently revised as EN ISO 20471:2013

What is EN ISO 20471?

EN ISO 20471 is a revised version of the previous EN 471 high visibility PPE standard. According to Directive 89/686/EEC, it requires by law to protect people who work on or near a roadside, whilst they go about their day to day business. The standards are set by identifying the risks to people. This is the minimum standard for high visibility clothing, which is capable of visually signalling the user’s presence and which specifies test methods and performance requirements for PPE worn in high-risk situations.

What does it mean?

The latest revision to the standard is EN ISO 20471:2013 – this is the standard that you must comply with. The EN 471 standards are revised every 5 years, if it is considered necessary. The first EN 471 standard was written in 1994. Since then, the European Technical Committee requested some amendments to the standard having received requests from test houses and committee members, particularly in terms of design freedom. The overall revision was finished and was implemented in April 2004. The current EN 471 standard with the new amendments is EN ISO 20471:2013.

What are the specifics of the standard?

Performance requirements are included for colour and retroreflection as well as for the minimum areas and for the placement of the materials in protective clothing.

Three classes of garment are defined based on three different minimum areas of retroreflective, fluorescent and/or combined performance materials. Each of these classes will provide a different level of conspicuity, class 3 being the class that provides the highest degree of conspicuity against most backgrounds found in urban and rural situations in daylight and in night time. Users should select the required class of performance based on a risk assessment of the location/situation in which the protection afforded by clothing to this International Standard is required. 

Class 2: Intermediate level of protection

(Sleeveless waistcoats, tabards, bib and brace trousers)
0,5 m2 fluorescent material / 0,13 m2 retroreflective material

Class 3: Highest level of protection

(Coats and jackets with sleeves, coveralls, two piece suits)
0,8 m2 fluorescent material / 0,2 m2 retroreflective material

There are within the standard, certain requirements for in-use Test Requirements.

Retroreflective materials require brightness after:

  • Rainfall Performance
  • Temperature Variation
  • Abrasion
  • Cold folding
  • Flexing
  • Washing
  • Dry cleaning (where applicable)

Flourescent materials:

  • UV exposure
  • Dimensional change
  • Water vapour resistance
  • Colour fastness
  • Mechanical properties