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ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020: Standard for Safety Glasses: Eye & Face Protection

“Reducing recordable injuries starts with seeing potential hazards in the workplace. That’s why Walman Optical Safety Eyewear uses advanced technology to manufacture and test every pair of prescription safety eyewear produced in our U.S. optical laboratories to adhere to ANSI Z87.1 standards. We believe that safety eyewear is a required medical device that must be precisely fit and measured to each employee and we support the responsibility companies have to keep its workforce safe and healthy with simple, customized programs. We pair only functional and fashionable ANSI Z87-2+ safety frames with cutting-edge optical products like digital lenses, anti-fog coatings and blue light filtering lenses to enhance productivity, health and safety in your company.”

Walman Optical, 844.401.7702, www.walmanopticalsafetyeyewear.com

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020, American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection, prescribes the design, performance specifications and marking of safety eye and face products, including millions of safety goggles, spectacles, face shields and welding helmets worn by workers in a variety of manufacturing and processing facilities, utilities and transportation, university and research laboratories, and other occupational settings.

ISEA (International Safety Equipment Association) serves as the Secretariat of Accredited Standards Committee Z87 on Safety Standards for Eye Protection. ISEA administers the operating procedures of the committee, in accordance with the Essential Requirements proscribed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and is responsible for the issuance of interpretations related to ANSI/ISEA Z87.1.

Updates to the Standard

To ensure professionals are aware of and understand innovations in eye and face protection design, the ISEA has updated the American National Standard for eye and face protection. The enhanced standard reinforces the emphasis on matching the protector to the hazard and includes other enhancements that might address the evolving needs of workers, particularly those engaged in specific tasks or applications.

The latest, 2020 version includes testing, performance and marking criteria for lenses with anti-fog properties. Fogging can impede a wearer’s ability to perform work safely; the standard helps employers enable solutions that minimize potential harm created by the continuous adjusting (or removing) of eyewear that provides protection from impact, splash or other hazards.

Why Standard Updates are Important

Approximately 2,000 eye injuries occur every day at work in the U.S., according to the Centers for Disease Control (CDC). Proper face and eye protection can reduce injuries and allow for safe operation during potentially dangerous tasks.

In consideration of specific applications, i.e., first responders and military personnel, the current 2020 version includes criteria and requisite markings for protectors offering relaxed optics as an option to the long-standing requirements.

These applications that may not require the stringent optical criteria historically imposed and needs to be balanced against often competing needs or protections that go hand-in-hand with specific tasks. ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 provides for relaxed optics as an option which might not be appropriate for laboratory environments or industrial applications.

Certain other updates address the emergence of innovative product designs, which past editions did not include. For example, changes in transmittance allowances to recognize the unique properties of wrap lenses and expanded welding filter shades are included in the update.

In addition, clarifications have been made throughout the updated standard to provide consistency in testing execution. Examples include applying dark-state tolerances for automatic darkening welding filters or determining the minimum coverage area with respect to the specified head form.

Mark of Protection

Because workers in almost every industry are subject to hazards that can cause temporary or permanent eye and face injury, ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 is incorporated into OSHA regulations for PPE. Products conforming to the standard are widely used in the U.S., and many workers look for the “Z87” marking on safety glasses and other eye/face protection devices. When a worker sees the Z87 marking, they can rest a little more easily and know they have the latest, best protection for their eyes.

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