In recent years, night running, cycling, and road fitness have grown in popularity, so protective equipment suitable for them is gradually becoming a necessity, and non-professional visual clothing/accessories are beginning to receive more and more attention.
Recently, the European Union issued a standard update to EN 17353:2020 “Protective Clothing-Enhanced visibility equipment under medium risk conditions”, which has come into effect on the date of issuance. This European Standard shall be given the status of a national standard, either by the publication of an identical text or by endorsement, at the latest by February 2021, and conflicting national standards shall be withdrawn at the latest by August 2023.
What Is EN 17353:2020?
EN17353:2020 specifies requirements for enhanced visibility equipment in the form of garments, or devices, which are capable of visually signaling the user’s presence. The enhanced visibility equipment is intended to provide conspicuity to the wearer in medium-risk situations under any daylight conditions and/or under illumination by vehicle headlights or searchlights in the dark. Performance requirements are included for color and retroreflection as well as for the minimum areas and for the placement of the materials in protective equipment.
EN 17353 standard is applicable to clothing and devices worn in medium-risk situations such as working with slow-moving vehicles, jogging on roads with lower traffic speeds, or cycling. It sets forth the minimum amounts of materials that should be incorporated into products in order to ensure enhanced visibility for an end-user.
This standard is not applicable to:
- High visibility equipment in high-risk situations, which is covered in EN ISO 20471 (for further information concerning risk situations, please contact us);
- Visibility equipment specifically intended for the head, hands, and feet, e.g. helmets, gloves and shoes;
- Equipment integrating active lighting, e.g.LEDs;
- Visibility for low-risk situations.
Types and minimum area requirements
The standard also describes the design requirements for various types of products based on the foreseeable conditions of use by Types “A”, “B”, and “AB”.
Type A– Visibility equipment for daylight only
Users wear equipment like T-shirts, vests, trousers, jackets, or tabards during the day, using only fluorescent materials to enhance visibility.
Type B – Visibility equipment for dark conditions
Users use the equipment in a dark environment, using only retroreflective materials to enhance visibility.
It is subdivided into 3 types as below. The classification depends on the total area worn or on the placement of the device on the user’s torso and limbs:
Type B1 – free-hanging retroreflective devices
Type B2 – retroreflective devices temporarily or permanently placed on limbs only
Type B3 – retroreflective material placed on the torso or torso and limbs. It shall not be a combination of permanently attached reflective material and removable reflective devices.
Type AB – Visibility equipment both for daylight and dark conditions
Users use the equipment at the risk of not being seen exists during daylight, twilight, and dark conditions. This equipment uses fluorescent as well as reflective and/or combined performance materials as enhanced visibility components.
TypeAB2 – For example: T-shirts, jackets, pants
TypeAB3 – For example: T-shirts, jackets, vests
Minimum area requirements
Performance requirements for color and retroreflection are included, as well as for minimum areas.
Table 2 as required by Type B1 and Type B2
Table 3 as required by garment Type A, Type B3 and Type AB
The size designation of the garment shall comply with the requirements of EN ISO13688:2013.
For Type A, the garment shall be made up of fluorescent material on all sides to ensure 360° visibility, which means users can be seen from all sides.
- Protective clothing items are worn to cover one or more parts of the body, examples of partial body protection are sleeves, aprons, and chaps.
- Conspicuity is best achieved by having well-defined areas of fluorescent material. Fragmented or highly patterned areas are unsuitable.
- Fluorescent material areas covered by any logos, lettering, labels, etc., are not counted towards the total area.
The design samples show how to measure visibility from all sides.
- not less than 40% of the minimum required amount of fluorescent material has to be present on both the front and back of the garment when laid flat.
- not less than 10% of the minimum required amount of fluorescent material has to be present on both the right and left of the garment when laid flat on the back(respectively on the front).
These garments or devices shall use at least the minimum amount of retroreflective material according to Table 2 or Table 3. They are shall be removable.
Type B1 – free-hanging devices-shall be retroreflective from both sides.
- Its optical active area shall be a minimum of 15 cm² per side. The total area shall be a maximum of 50 cm² per side. In order to achieve 360° visibility(visibility from all sides) at least two devices shall be used, these shall be used on the left and the right side of the torso.
- The device shall be flat and its maximum thickness shall be 10mm.
- The means of attachment (string, ribbon, cord, spiral, etc.) shall be a minimum of 10cm, in length between the points of attachment on the garment and that on the reflector to enable free movement of the device around its vertical axis and allow a pendulum effect.
Type B2 – retroreflective on the limbs
- One or more devices shall be applied to each upper and/or each lower limb.
- The retroreflective material shall be placed on the limbs so as to ensure a minimum width of 20mm encircling each limb.
- Any gap in the lengthwise continuity of the retroreflective material shall not be greater than 50mm, measured parallel to the direction of the material, and the total of such gaps shall not be greater than 50mm around the limbs. Any offset not greater than the width of the material plus 5mm is allowed.
- The retroreflective elements shall have a minimum area of 25 cm² each.
Type B3 – retroreflective on the torso and limbs
Garments and devices shall be measured flat and in their smallest configuration. The minimum area of retroreflective material shall fulfill the requirements in Table 3.
- Retroreflective material shall be placed on the torso so as to ensure a minimum width of 20mm encircling the torso.
- Separate retroreflective elements may form part of an applied design in conjunction with the above. The retroreflective elements shall have a minimum area of 25cm² each.
- Any gap in the lengthwise continuity of the retroreflective material shall not be greater than 50mm, measured parallel to the direction of the material, and the total of such gaps shall not be greater than 100mm around the torso. Any offset not greater than the width of the material plus 5mm is allowed.
The design samples show how to measure visibility from all sides.
- not less than 40% of the minimum required amount of retroreflective material specified in Table 3 is present on both the front and the back when laid flat.
- not less than 10% of the minimum required amount of retroreflective material specified in Table 3 is present on both the right and left sides when laid flat on the back(respectively on the front).
Combined performance material for Type AB shall be used only in a form that maintains a width of ≥20mm. When using this kind of material, the area of fluorescent material can be reduced by the amount of combined performance material used.
Requirements for non-fluorescent material, fluorescent material, and combined performance material.
The standard allows for greater freedom in color, including fluorescent yellow-green, fluorescent yellow, fluorescent yellow-orange, fluorescent orange, fluorescent orange-red, fluorescent red, and fluorescent pink.
Color performance requirements of new material
The color and the luminance factor of the new fluorescent and combined performance material shall be within the regions given in Table 4.
Color after Xenon test
Color fastness of fluorescent material and all non-fluorescent material layers after test exposure
These requirements shall be applied only to Type A and Type B equipment.
Color fastness to rubbing
Color fastness to perspiration
Color fastness when laundered, dry cleaned, hypochlorite bleached and hot pressed.
Select only the fiber corresponding to the fibers of the fluorescent material and non-fluorescent material.
Specimens shall be line-dried hanging in the air at a temperature not exceeding 60℃ with parts in contact only at the lines of the stitching.
Dimensional change of fluorescent material and non-fluorescent material
Photometric and physical performance requirements for the separate performance and combined performance materials.
Retroreflective performance requirements of new material
For garments, the marking requirements defined in EN ISO 13688:2013 shall be met. The devices shall be marked with the following:
- name of the manufacturer and address.
- number and year of this document
- type of equipment
If a maximum number of cleaning cycles is stated in the manufacturer’s instructions, this number shall be related to the component of the enhanced visibility material with the lowest number of washes.
If applicable， the maximum number of washes shall be marked on the equipment label near the graphical symbol.
All products shall be marked with symbols, indicative of daylight and/or dark conditions of use.
The marking of the device shall be on the product itself or if not possible on labels attached to the product or to the smallest packaging unit.
The above information summarizes some notable requirements in the new standard, however, not all requirements are listed by specific. If you need help or more information on the standards, please kindly contact us.