Initially, ANSI developed the 107 standard specifically for highway workers in response to elevated injuries and the death of construction crews working along federal highways. The 207 upgrade in ANSI regulations extends out to include other professionals who work in similar and equally hazardous conditions where visibility is an issue. This includes professions like law enforcement and fire rescue. The new standard allows for a more flexible design that accommodates the needs of various professions.
The Background Material - ANSI 207 standard mandates that vests utilizing reflective tape for hi visibility clothing must contain a minimum of 450 square inches of background fluorescent material. This is a dramatic increase over the ANSI 107 standard which required only 217 square inches of fluorescent backing materials.
Retroreflective Materials - 201 square inches of high visibility reflective tape with retroreflective properties or an equal combined performance material is required for safety vests to meet the ANSI standard 207. The ANSI standard doesn't have any guidelines about the design of the reflective material or how reflective material needs to be attached. Since there are no guidelines of this nature, reflective tape can be added on the garment in any way by using sew on reflective tape or by using a heat melt adhesive. The only requirement that must be met is the width of the reflective tape and the amount applied.
Reflective Trim - When reflective tape and trim is placed on a hi visibility vest meeting ANSI 207 guidelines, that tape must be at least two inches wide. This effectively doubles the width of the tape requirement from ANSI 107, where a minimum of 1 inch wide reflective tape was necessary to meet regulatory standards.
Quantity of Tape - 2.8 yards of reflective material are needed to meet the new ANSI 207 standards for safety vests. The 2.8 yards of reflective material can be anything from reflective tape, logos, trim or any other variety. This is an increase from the performance class 1 of ANSI 107, which was only 2.25 yards. By using combined performance material, it is fairly easy to meet the minimum standards for ANSI (depending on the layout and design of the high visibility garment).
Photometric Performance - Both ANSI 207 and ANSI 107 have the same requirement of demonstrating a level 2 photometric performance when reflective tape is used. The ability of reflective material to keep its reflective qualities after being exposed to harsh conditions and general wear and tear is considered photometric testing. The final rating is given usually after the garments are put through many tests that mimic heavy use and heavy washing.