What are Class E Safety Pants?

When we talk about high reflective clothing for construction workers on the road, it’s class 1, class 2, and class 3 clothes that comes to our minds. But, there’s yet another class of pants known as class E safety pants. 

Class E safety pants are different from the other 3 classes. They are also known as supplementary high visibility garments. 

Class E safety pants are high visibility pants that when worn with class 1, 2, or 3 clothes, increase the visibility further. So, when it’s raining heavily or visibility is really poor, these high visibility pants work as a safety shield for road workers.

What are Class E Safety Pants

This article sheds light on a lot of facts and myths that surround class E safety pants, their purpose, and much more. Read along to explore all details!

What are class E hi-vis pants?

Hi-vis stands for high visibility. Class E high visibility pants are much more visible and reflective than any other class (1 to 3). 

They are fabricated to enhance the safety of construction workers on the road. They’re of utmost use when it’s raining heavily or there’s a lot of fog that has deteriorated the quality of visibility a lot. 

Your normal class 1 or class 2, even class 3 high visibility vests won’t be able to pierce through such a thick coat of fog. The result would be danger from incoming traffic. 

In such scenarios, when you wear class E high visibility pants with class 2 or 3 clothing, the scene changes entirely.

If we’re to put their purpose in a single statement, we’d say that the purpose of class E safety pants is to enhance the visibility of Class 1, class 2, and class 3 safety clothing. 

How does hi-vis work?

Hi visibility is a safety concept that’s widely accepted by OSHA. Classes 1 to 3 high visibility determines the level of visibility, 1 being the lowest and 3 the highest. 

During extreme weather, adding a class E safety pant to your high visity vests and bibs works in the following ways. 

      • When you add a class E safety pant to your class 2 safety vest, it becomes as visible as class 3 clothing. 
      • When added to class 3 garments, the rating remains 3, the brightness increases. 

In all the aforementioned cases, class E safety pants work towards increasing your visibility. It ensures your safety and that of the incoming traffic. 

Class E Clothing: Facts and Myths!


Class E pants are supplementary clothes – Class E high visibility safety clothes are worn in combination with class 2, or 3 clothing. Alone, they don’t qualify as safety clothes for road construction workers and traffic controllers.

Class E pants are of different kinds – Class E pants include bib pants, rain pants, and mesh pants.


Not wearing class E OSHA pants is a criminal offence – OSHA suggests wearing Class E pants (all class E products) when there’s a requirement of higher visibility that cannot be met alone by class 1, 2, or 3 clothes.

But, it doesn’t mandate the same. So, not wearing class E products is not a criminal offense if that’s what you’re worried about. Yet, if you value your life, you must wear class E high visibility pants when there’s heavy downpour.

3 Advantages of Adding class E pants to your Hi-vis safety ensemble

It’s clear by now that class E pants increase visibility when the weather is overcast or there’s a heavy downpour. 

Let’s now walk you through some underrated but very crucial advantages of wearing class E pants. Have a look!

1.) These are waterproof pants that will protect your clothes underneath. Clearly, they offer more than just visibility.

2.) The high-quality, OSHA recommended class E pants have an elastic waistline that offers optimum comfort. It also hampers water from entering inside the pants when working under heavy downpour. 

3.) They usually have a dark-colored portion at the bottom. It keeps the cuffs from showing dirt that’s otherwise an inseparable part of construction workers on the road. 

Top 3 Class E Safety Pants 

1.) Pioneer Ripstop High Visibility Class E Bin Pants

This is a 100% waterproof class E safety pant that is abrasion resistant too. The visibility tape has very high reflectivity that makes it extremely safe. 

When worn with class 2 vests or shirts, it gives the same level of protection that class 3 clothing does. Besides, it’s lightweight too. 

Some other classy features that make this class e safety pant one of the best products in the market are as follows!

1.) It is in full compliance with ANSI/ISEA 107-15 standard that’s recommended and tested for safety by OSHA.

2.) It’s available in yellow/green and orange colors that increase your visibility at night. 

3.) It’s puncture-resistant and tear-resistant.

4.) The heat-sealed seam makes the pants last longer. 

5.) The size variation is huge. You can easily buy these pants in sizes as large as 4XL. 


Some users report that these class e high vis pants aren’t true to their size. 

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2.) JORESTECH heavy duty class E Safety Pants

These yellow/lime class E safety pants have a 360° reflective strip that increases the visibility multifolds. Some of the profound features that make this safety pant one of the best in the market are as follows.

1.) These heavy-duty pants are made of polyurethane and they’re 100% waterproof.

2.) The elastic adjustable waist increases comfort.

3.) They’re available in multiple sizes ranging from Small to 4XL.

4.) They’re rugged, puncture-resistant, and abrasion-resistant.

Cons: Consumers have reported that these pants run one size larger. So, follow the size chart very carefully.

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3.) Ergodyne GloWear High Visibility Class E Reflective Pants

These lime-green high-visibility class e pants have silver-colored 360° strips that are highly reflective. When they’re worn with class 2 hi-vis clothing, they offer class 3 visibility. 

1.) These pants are waterproof.

2.) They are resistant to abrasion, wear and tear, and punctures.

3.) They’re highly visible even at night.

Cons: Their cost could be a possible constraint. However, they’re worth every single penny spent on them. If you can afford them, you must buy them.

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1. Does OSHA require high-visibility clothing?

OSHA suggests wearing class E visibility pants with class 2 vests and shirts. However, it isn’t a legal compulsion. Still, as somebody who values life, you must wear high visibility class e pants.

2. Does red count as hi-vis?

According to ANSI and ISEA, red and orange-red are considered as high visibility colors. Silver stripes make them even more visible and reflective.

3. Is blue considered a hi-vis color?

No. Blue does not emit light. So, it’s very tough to notice this color from a distance, at night, or when there’s low visibility. 

Instead, yellow, lime, red, and orange-red colors with 360° reflective stripes are accepted by OSHA as hi-vis colors for class E pants.

4. Is hi-vis mandatory?

If safety matters to you, then, yes. Though there’s no legal obligation, yet, wearing high visibility class e safety pants while there’s incoming traffic is the safest way to avoid getting hit by vehicles. 

Concluding Thoughts:

Class E safety pants are supplementary clothing items that should be worn with class 2 clothing to get increased visibility on the road at night. 

These pants don’t offer protection when worn without class 2 or 3 clothing, but with class 2 or 3 clothes, these pants offer protection from traffic when:

      • It’s raining. 
      • Visibility is low.
      • You’re handling traffic at night.

In a nutshell, we hope that this guide helped you understand the importance of wearing class e safety pants!  

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

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