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Railway Group Standard - High Visibility Clothing

What is RIS-3279-TOM?

RIS-3279-TOM is a high visibility standard that only applies to the rail industry in the UK, as opposed to the EU-Wide nature of other EN standards. The aim is to ensure that rail workers on or near the trackside are sufficiently visible to trains approaching at speed or any other traffic.

GO/RT 3279 was superseded on 4th March 2017 by rail industry standard RIS-3279-TOM which reproduces the content of GO/RT 3279 in its entirety.  

Summary of the standard

High visibility clothing is the fundamental principle behind the UK RIS Rail Industry Standard. This is based on the European Norm EN 20471:2013, and garments must comply to Class 2 High Visibility, the middle of a three class range. The standard states the following: ‘high visibility clothing worn by people on the lineside or on or near the line should conform to a single standard for the colour and luminance of background material and that this standard will accord with the detail contained within BS EN 20471:2013 high visibility clothing – Test methods and requirements (ISO 20471:2013).’

Stated in the standard is that: ‘the colour specific requirements within this standard conform to the range specified within BS EN 20471 clause 5.1.2.’ In order to confine this to a specific orange colour, and to prevent the selection of a colour at the red end of the spectrum, the precise chromaticity co-ordinates for the colour are specified as: Fluorescent orange, X:0.588, Y:0.371. with a luminance factor of at least 0.4. The accepted tolerance in colour is as laid out in EN 20471. However, there is no tolerance for the luminance factor.

Also stipulated in the RIS standard is the need of retro-reflective materials, with photometric and physical performance aligned with EN 20471.

Mentioned in the RIS standard is the accepted use of a mini vest where the nature of the work being carried out will not obscure the high visibility clothing, and thus reduce the surface area’ that is visible. The same applies to company logos; these are permitted where they do not compromise the surface area of background colour, and compensation may have to be made for this.

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