Title:
High Visibility Safety Apparel
Kind Code:
A1


Abstract:
A high visibility garment is provided for use by fire fighters and other emergency workers, and allows for large adjustment in size to accommodate both small and large body sizes, as well as worker apparel that can vary from a t-shirt to bunker gear or other heavy duty protective outerwear.



Inventors:
Grilliot, William L. (West Milton, OH, US)
Grilliott, Mary I. (West Milton, OH, US)
Grilliot Jr., William L. (Dayton, OH, US)
Waters, Patricia K. (Tipp City, OH, US)
Application Number:
12/510902
Publication Date:
02/11/2010
Filing Date:
07/28/2009
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A41D1/04
View Patent Images:
Related US Applications:
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20040244090Climate controlled glove for sporting activitiesDecember, 2004Langer
20050210568Lens attachment combined with formation of goggles frameSeptember, 2005Sheldon
20020174480Sports helmet and face guardNovember, 2002Lombard
20040187182Sure-cutSeptember, 2004Carraway
20060117455Seat garment and storage deviceJune, 2006Park et al.
20090113590Connection of pads and google for maskMay, 2009Lian
20040231023Sanitary maskNovember, 2004Huang
20050193476Secret purseSeptember, 2005Chinn



Primary Examiner:
WORRELL JR, LARRY D
Attorney, Agent or Firm:
HONEYWELL/WOOD PHILLIPS (Charlotte, NC, US)
Claims:
1. A high visibility safety vest for use comprising: an adjustable torso covering portion of high visibility material, the torso covering portion having a first state wherein the high visibility material is fitted to completely encircle a torso of a first circumferential dimension, and a second state wherein the high visibility material is fitted to completely encircle a torso of a second circumferential dimension, the second circumferential dimension being at least 40% larger than the first circumferential dimension.

2. The vest of claim 1 wherein the second circumferential dimension is at least 50% larger than the first circumferential dimension.

3. The vest of claim 1 wherein the torso covering portion comprises a back panel of high visibility material and at least one adjustable side portion of high visibility material that is adjustable relative to the back panel to provide the first and second states.

4. The vest of claim 3 further comprising an adjustable connection between the back panel and the at least one adjustable side portion.

5. The vest of claim 4 wherein the adjustable connection comprises hook and loop connectors on the back panel and the at least one adjustable side portion.

6. The vest of claim 5 wherein the hook and loop connectors comprise an array of hook and loop patches.

7. The vest of claim 3 wherein the torso covering portion comprises at least one front/side panel and the at least one front/side panel comprises the at least one adjustable side portion.

8. The vest of claim 3 wherein the at least one adjustable side portion comprises two adjustable side portions spaced on opposite sides of the back panel.

9. The vest of claim 8 wherein the back panel has a transverse width and each of the side panels have a transverse width that is sized to extend over half or more of the transverse width of the back panel.

10. The vest of claim 9 wherein each of the side portions is overlaid by half or more of the transverse width of the back panel in the first state, and wherein each of the side portions is overlaid by less than half of the transverse width of the back panel in the second state.

11. The vest of claim 8 wherein the torso covering portion comprises a pair of front/side panels and each of the front/side panels comprises one of the adjustable side portions.

12. A high visibility safety vest comprising: a back panel of high visibility material having a transverse width sized to extend over the back of a wearer; a pair of front/side panels of high visibility material, each including an adjustable side portion having a transverse width sized to extend over about half or more of the transverse width of the back panel; and an adjustable connection between each of the adjustable side portions and the back panel; the adjustable connection having a first connected state wherein the transverse width of the adjustable side portion is overlaid by about half or more of the transverse width of the back panel; and a second connected state wherein the transverse width of adjustable side portion is overlaid by less than 25% of the transverse width of the back panel.

13. The vest of claim 12 wherein the adjustable connection comprises hook and loop connectors on the back panel and the side portions.

14. The vest of claim 13 wherein the hook and loop connectors comprise an array of hook and loop patches.

15. The vest of claim 14 wherein the hook and loop connectors further comprise circumferentially extending hook and loop strips arranged for engagement with the hook and loop patches.

16. A high visibility safety vest comprising: a back panel of high visibility material having a transverse width sized to extend over the back of a wearer; a pair of front/side panels of high visibility material, each including an adjustable side portion having a transverse width sized to extend over about half or more of the transverse width of the back panel; and an adjustable connection between each of the adjustable side portions and the back panel; the adjustable connection having a first connected state wherein the transverse width of the adjustable side portion is overlaid by about half or more of the transverse width of the back panel; and a second connected state wherein less than 75% of the transverse width of the adjustable side portion is overlaid by the transverse width of the back panel.

17. The vest of claim 16 wherein the adjustable connection comprises hook and loop connectors on the back panel and the side portions.

18. The vest of claim 17 wherein the hook and loop connectors comprise an array of hook and loop patches.

19. The vest of claim 18 wherein the hook and loop connectors further comprise circumferentially extending hook and loop strips arranged for engagement with the hook and loop patches.

Description:

CROSS-REFERENCE TO RELATED APPLICATIONS

This application claims the benefit of the filing date of U.S. Provisional Application No. 61/188,453, filed Aug. 8, 2008, which is hereby incorporated by reference.

FEDERALLY SPONSORED RESEARCH OR DEVELOPMENT

Not Applicable.

MICROFICHE/COPYRIGHT REFERENCE

Not Applicable.

FIELD OF THE INVENTION

Background of the Invention

Federal regulations require that all workers within the right-of-way of a federal aid highway who are exposed either to traffic or to construction equipment within the work area wear high-visibility safety apparel. This requirement applies to firefighters and other emergency workers who are often required to wear other highly specialized protective garments, such as fire, heat, chemical and/or biohazard resistant protective garments depending upon the particular emergency situation they are responding to, and are sometimes required to also wear specialized breathing apparatus, such as a self-contained breathing apparatus having a backpack mounted oxygen/air tank.

SUMMARY OF THE INVENTION

A high visibility garment is provided for use by fire fighters and other emergency workers, and allows for large adjustment in size to accommodate both small and large body sizes, as well as worker apparel that can vary from a t-shirt to bunker gear or other heavy duty protective outerwear.

As one feature, the garment is provided in the form of a vest.

In one feature, the garment has a torso covering portion made of high visibility material that completely encircles the torso of a wearer in the circumferential direction in both is smallest size state and largest size state.

According to one feature, the torso covering portion has a first state wherein the high visibility material is fitted to completely encircle a torso of a first circumferential dimension, and a second state wherein the high visibility material is fitted to completely encircle a torso of a second circumferential dimension, with the second circumferential dimension be at least 40% larger than the first circumferential dimension.

According to one feature, the torso covering portion includes a back panel having a transverse width sized to extend over the back of a wearer; a pair of front/side panels, each including an adjustable side portion having a transverse width sized to extend over about half or more of the transverse width of the back panel; and an adjustable connection between each of the adjustable side portions and the back panel. Each adjustable connection having a first connected state wherein the transverse width of the adjustable side portion is overlaid by about half or more of the transverse width of the back panel, and a second connected state wherein less than 75% of the transverse width of the adjustable side portion is overlaid by the transverse width of the back panel.

Other objects, features, and advantages of the invention will become apparent from a review of the entire specification, including the appended claims and drawings.

BRIEF DESCRIPTION OF THE DRAWINGS

FIG. 1 is a front perspective view of a high visibility safety garment embodying the invention shown in a donned position on a wearer of a larger size;

FIG. 2 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but taken from the left side;

FIG. 3 is a view similar to FIG. 2, but showing an adjustment of the garment in an open state;

FIG. 4 is a view similar to FIG. 1, but taken from the back;

FIG. 5 is a view similar to FIG. 1 but showing the garment on a wearer of a smaller size;

FIG. 6 is a perspective front view of the garment of FIG. 1 in first size configuration;

FIG. 7 is a view similar to FIG. 6, but showing the garment in a second size configuration;

FIG. 8 is a view similar to FIGS. 6 and 7, but showing an adjustment of the garment in an open state.

DETAILED DESCRIPTION OF THE PREFERRED EMBODIMENT

A high visibility safety garment 10 is shown in the form of a high visibility safety vest 12 having an adjustable torso covering portion 14 made of high visibility material 16, preferably, a fluorescent yellow-green, a fluorescent orange-red or a fluorescent red. Additionally, retroreflective trim or strips 18 are also provided and include at least one retroreflective band 18A completely encircling the torso 14. Preferably, the garment 10 meets the current and/or any future standards under ANSI/ISEA 107 or ANSI/ISEA 207 (high visibility garment/vest standards developed by the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) and published by the American National Standards Institute, Inc.).

The torso covering portion 14 has a first state (as shown in FIGS. 5 and 6) wherein the high visibility material 16 is fitted to completely encircle a wearer's torso with a first circumferential dimension C1, and a second state (as shown in FIGS. 2 and 7) wherein the high visibility material 16 is fitted to completely encircle a wearer's torso with a second circumferential dimension C2. In one preferred embodiment, the second circumferential dimension C2 is at least 40% larger than the first circumferential dimension C1. In another preferred embodiment, the second circumferential dimension C2 is at least 50% larger than C1. It is anticipated that in some embodiments the second circumferential dimension C2 could be twice as large as C1, such as, for example going from a chest size of 32 inches to a chest size of 64 inches. Even larger ratios of C2/C1 are possible.

In the embodiment shown in the Figs., the torso covering portion 14 includes a back panel 20 of the high visibility material 16 having a transverse width WB in the circumferential direction sized to extend over the back of a wearer; a pair of front/side panels 22 of the high visibility material 16, each including an adjustable side portion 24 having a transverse width WS sized to extend over half of the transverse width WB of the back panel 20, and an adjustable connection 26 between each of the adjustable side portions 24 and the back panel 20. Each adjustable connection 26 has a first connected state (shown in FIGS. 5 and 6) wherein the transverse width WS of the corresponding adjustable side portion 24 is overlaid by half of the transverse width WB of the back panel 20, and a second connected state (shown in FIGS. 2 and 7) wherein less than 75% of the transverse width WS of the adjustable side portion 24 is overlaid by the transverse width WB of the back panel 20.

Each adjustable connection 26 includes one or more releasable fasteners 28 which, in the illustrated embodiment, are shown in the form of mating hook and loop connectors 30 on the back panel 20 and each of the adjustable side portions 24. In this regard, in the illustrated embodiment, three hook and loop strips 32 extend circumferentially across the back panel 20, and each of the adjustable side portions 24 includes an array of hook and loop patches 34 that are arranged to allow at least three adjustment positions. It should be appreciated that any suitable releasable connector or fastener 28 could be used, include buttons, snaps, and ties.

A zipper 36 or other suitable releasable connector is preferably provided at the front of the vest 12 to allow the front/side panels 22 to be connected and disconnected when donned by a wearer.

While the torso covering portion 14 is shown as defining a pair of arm holes 38 for the vest 14, it should be appreciated that while the high visibility garment 10 may also be provided as a garment that includes sleeves extending from the location of the arm holes 38, such as for example, a garment that would satisfy Class 3 requirements under the aforementioned ANSI standards.