According to the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), ANSI Z87.1-2015 “sets forth criteria related to the general requirements, testing, permanent marking, selection, care, and use” of eye protection to prevent or minimize injuries from eye hazards. Safety measures set forth by the standard protect workers in a variety of fields, from science laboratories to manufacturing plants.
The 2015 standard reflects a series of refinements, updates, and tweaks to the 2010 version, which introduced a new way to organize equipment and hazards.
This article will provide an overview of what’s covered under the ANSI Z87.1 standard, what’s new in the standard’s latest update, the different types of protection it describes, and how Graphic Products can help improve safety in the workplace.
What’s new in ANSI Z87.1-2015?
The latest update to the ANSI Z87.1 standard continues to reflect the importance of choosing protection based on the hazards workers encounter. This follows a trend that started with the 2010 standard, which began organizing equipment by the type of hazard.
The update also added and changed numerous application-specific requirements, hazards, and equipment, and it updated equipment testing methods to reflect similar global standards.
Does OSHA Require ANSI Z87.1-2015 Compliance?
Not exactly. 29 CFR §1910.133(b)(2), OSHA’s eye protection standard for general industry, only directly addresses ANSI Z87.1-2010. It states that OSHA will accept eye protection that can be demonstrated to be at least as effective as protective eye and face protection devices that are constructed in accordance with:
- ANSI Z87.1-2010
- ANSI Z87.1-2003
- ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998)
- ANSI Z87.1-1989
Given that ANSI Z87.1-2015 is demonstrated to be at least as effective as the earlier standards, items that meet the most recent standard are considered acceptable by OSHA.
Eye Protection Marking
The Z87.1-2010 and Z87.1-2015 standards have also been harmonized with eye and face protection standards used in other countries. This makes it easier to work internationally and understand what is required for eye protection.
ANSI Z87.1 requires markings on eye protection that relate directly to the device’s ability to defend against specific hazards. Eye protection that’s Z87.1-compliant will be marked with "Z87."
Additional markings fall into three categories:
- Impact vs. Non-Impact
- Splash and Dust Protection
- Optical Radiation Protection
Impact vs. Non-Impact
ANSI Z87.1 classifies eye protection as impact- or non-impact-rated. Impact-rated eye protection must pass certain high mass and high velocity tests, and provide eye protection from the side. Impact-rated eye protection will have a plus symbol (+). Impact-rated flat lenses, for instance, will be marked “Z87+.”
Chemical Splash and Dust Protection
Eyewear that meets ANSI Z87.1 requirements for droplet (splash) or dust protection will be marked with a code that begins with the letter "D". For example:
- Eye protection that provides protection from droplets and splashes will be marked with “D3”
- Eye protection that provides dust protection will be labeled “D4”
- Eye protection that provides fine dust protection will be labeled “D5”
Optical Radiation Protection
A lenses’ ability to protect against radiation is indicated by a letter designation, which is typically followed by a rating number. The markings are as follows:
- Welding Filter: “W” followed by a shade number on a scale from 1.3 to 14.
- Ultra-violet (UV) Filter: “U” followed by a number on a scale from 2 to 6.
- Infra-red (Heat) Filter: “R” followed by a number on a scale from 1.3 to 10.
- Visible Light (Glare) Filter: “L” followed by a number on a scale from 1.3 to 10.
- Clear lens: No additional marking
- Variable tint: “V”
- Special purpose: “S”
When appropriate, two additional markings will appear on eye protection:
- Eye protection designed for a smaller head size will be marked with the letter “H.”
- Prescription lens will have the manufacturer’s logo.
Eye protection may have several markings if it meets requirements for two or more categories. For example, lenses marked “Z87+L8D3D4” provide impacted-rated eye protection, glare reduction, and protection against droplets and dust.
Eye Protection and Safety
Labeling and signage can alert employees when PPE is required, where to find it around a facility, and which eye hazards exist. DuraLabel industrial label and sign printers by Graphic Products can assist in developing visual communication that keeps employees safe.
Graphic Products strives to improve the health and safety of employees. The company’s PPE for the eyes and face—including safety glasses, goggles, and eyewash stations—protects workers and encourages a hazard-free facility. Visit GraphicProducts.com or call 888.326.9244 for more information.