Safety glasses

Are these really safety glasses? | 2019-10-27


The answer is Brent Motchan, former president of SafeVision LLC, St. Louis.

Every day, 2,000 workers suffer a work-related eye injury that requires medical treatment, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. About a third of these injuries are treated in hospital emergency rooms, and more than 100 result in one or more days of sick leave.

Many of these eye injuries could have been avoided with proper safety glasses. The OSHA standard for eye protection, adopted in 2015 by the American National Standards Institute for personal eye and face protection, is more commonly referred to as ANSI Z87.1. The standard sets out many criteria related to general requirements, testing, permanent markings, selection, maintenance and use of guards (safety devices, including safety glasses) to minimize damage. occurrence and severity or prevention of injuries. To meet ANSI Z87.1 standards, safety glasses must be tested for non-impact or impact resistant lenses and frames, as well as for exposure to non-ionizing radiation and chemicals. Safety glasses are also tested for ignition and corrosion. In addition to these tests, safety glasses must meet a minimum physical coverage area to protect the wearer’s eyes.

To answer the question, the starting point is ANSI Z87.1. When an employee purchases or receives safety glasses to wear, they rarely receive the test results at the same time. Is it possible to get the test results? According to the ANSI standard, the answer is “yes”. It may not be easy, but the standard states that the manufacturer of the protector (safety device) should provide the test results to the buyer upon request. The manufacturer is defined as “the business entity which marks or directs the permanent marking of components or complete devices as conforming to the standard and selling them as conforming”.

Another way to determine if the glasses are safety glasses is to look at the markings on the glasses. As required by ANSI Z87.1, all guards (safety glasses) must have permanent and legible markings in specified locations. Rather than getting technical with all of the protective gear, let’s review the most well-known safety eyewear markings: standard (often referred to as plano eyewear) and prescription (often referred to as Rx eyewear).

Plano frames are marked either “Z87 base impact” or “Z87 +” if the frame is classified as impact (high mass impact and high speed impact). In addition, the frame must bear the manufacturer’s mark or logo. Z87.1 requires that the protector (frame) marking be placed close to each other. Manufacturers’ brands or logos are exempt from proximity requirements if they are clearly present elsewhere on the product.

Prescription security frames are slightly more complicated. The front faces of prescription safety frames must be marked in two dimensions. One is dimension A, or the size of the eyes. It is the distance from one side of a lens to the other. The other marking on the front of a prescription frame is the distance between the lenses. The A dimension and the DBL are often separated by a block symbol. For example, “53 16”.

Similar to plano safety frames, the prescription safety frame should be stamped with the manufacturer’s brand or logo, as well as the designation of the standard – whether “Z87-2” for prescription safety glasses or ” Z87-2 + ”for safety shockproof goggles. In addition, at least one temple arm must bear the manufacturer’s mark or logo, as well as “Z87-2” or “Z87-2 +” and the length of the temples.

If your safety glasses only display “Z87” or the manufacturer’s mark with a “+” stamped on the lens or frame, your glasses may still be ANSI compliant. These glasses may have been produced before the adoption of ANSI 2015 standards or before the adoption of earlier ANSI standards in 2010.