Keep Your Eyes On Safety

Most employers require their employees to wear eye protection at all times while they are working. The “at all times” mandate for eye protection occurred after employers recognized that employees failed to use eye protection when required. Many times injury to the eye is not repairable and there is not a way to replace the eye if damaged beyond repair. Doctors can replace, sew back, and remove many body parts, but they cannot replace the eye. Eye protection is tested and must meet the standard ANSI Z87 or Z87+ which requires the following testing; basic and high impact lenses and frames, exposure to non-ionizing radiation, and chemicals and durability to flammable and corrosion. Additional markings on the frames and lenses will be for the following.

Impact Vs Non-Impact

Impact-rated eye protection will have a plus symbol (+) and written out as “Z87+”

  • Chemical splash and dust protection
  • Splash or dust protection will be marked with a code that begins with the letter “D”
    – Protection from droplets and splashes is marked with “D3”
    – Dust protection is labeled “D4”
    – Fine dust protection is labeled “D5”

Optical Radiation Protection

  • A lenses ability to protect against radiation is indicated by a letter designation
  • 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, additional markings will appear on eye protection

  • Eye protection designed for a smaller head size will be marked with the letter “H”

Prescription Glasses

  • Manufacturer’s mark or logo on frame or lens
  • “+” symbol on lenses to indicate they are impact rated
  • Z87-2+ on the frame
  • Z87+ on detachable side shields if equipped
  • Prescription frames also require size markings on frame and temples per ANSI Z80.5-2010
  • If prescription glasses are not marked appropriately on the frames and lenses and side shields are not installed, they are NOT safety glasses

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