Workwear Off-duty Personal Protective Equipment Footwear

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020

The most recent edition of the American National Standard used for safety glasses, safety goggles, side shields, and other eye and face protection devices is ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020: American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices

This standard sets forth criteria related to the general requirements, testing, permanent marking, selection, care, and use of eye and face protection products, such as safety glasses, goggles, face shields, face shields, and welding helmets. To minimize the occurrence and severity or prevention of injuries from such hazards as impact, non-ionizing radiation and liquid splash exposures in occupational and educational environments including, but not limited to, machinery operations, material welding and cutting, chemical handling, and assembly operations.

Please note, however, that ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 does not cover other hazardous exposures like bloodborne pathogens, X-rays, high-energy particulate radiation, microwaves, radio-frequency radiation, lasers, masers, and sports and recreation.

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 underwent the following changes from the 2015 edition:

  • Criteria and requisite markings for protectors offering relaxed optics were added as an option to long-standing requirements. This in response to the recognition that certain job tasks and applications, including those of first-responder, firefighting or military personnel, may not need require the stringent optical criteria historically imposed.
  • Testing, performance, and marking criteria for lenses with anti-fog properties were added, since fogging can impede a wearer’s ability to perform work safely.
  • Transmittance allowances were changed.
  • Welding filter shades were expanded.
  • Clarifications were added to provide consistency in testing for applying dark-state tolerances for automatic darkening welding filters and determining the minimum cover-age area with respect to the specified head form.

The main part of the ANSI Z87 standard is divided into two sections: design requirements and testing requirements. The design requirements include impact resistance, optical clarity, and frame construction. Impact resistance ensures that any product meets a minimum impact strength test.

The ANSI Z87 rating is based on three main hazards: Impact, Liquid Splash and Dust.

Impact – Safety eyewear with the ANSI Z87 rating requires safety eyewear to pass the ball drop test. ANSI Z87+ must meet the high-mass impact test and the high-velocity impact test. These tests are designed to evaluate the frame and its lenses’ ability to protect the user’s eyes from objects hitting them with a high velocity. The testing is done in a laboratory setting and the eyewear must pass the test to receive the ANSI Z87 rating.

Liquid Splash – Safety goggles protect eyes against dust, splash, and droplet hazards by forming a protective seal around the wearer’s eyes, preventing liquid, chemicals, and dust from entering. Ventilated goggles allow air circulation while providing protection against airborne particles, dust, liquids, and light. The test is designed to ensure that the lenses protect the user’s eyes from liquid splashes. The test for splash resistance is solely a pass/fail liquid splash test. The testing is done in a laboratory setting and the eyewear must pass the test to receive the ANSI Z87 rating.

Dust – The ANSI Z87 rating also requires safety eyewear to pass a dust test. This test is designed to ensure that the lenses protect the user’s eyes from dust and debris. The testing is done in a laboratory setting and the eyewear must pass the test to receive the ANSI Z87 rating.

The ANSI Z87 marking consists of two parts: the first part indicates the type of protection offered by the glasses, and the second part indicates the impact protection level. Here’s a breakdown of what each part of the marking means:

  • Z87+indicates a high-velocity impact rating.
  • Z87indicates a basic impact rating.
  • D3indicates droplet and splash protection and splash.
  • D4indicates protection from dust particles.
  • D5means protection from fine dust.
  • Wplus a number shows the level of welding protection
  • Uplus a scale number means the level of UV protection
  • Rplus a scale number means the level of infrared light protection
  • Lplus a scale number means the visible light filter
  • Z87-2on the frame and both temples indicate prescription eyewear.
  • Hmeans designed for smaller head sizes
  • Vindicates photochromic lenses
  • Sindicates a special lens tint
  • indicates eyewear can resist fogging

Additional Resources for Choosing Safety Eyewear

To help companies be better informed and prepared, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has created a useful how-to guide for selecting and using eye and face protection equipment.

Another helpful information source is the OHSA website, which advises readers about eye and face protection based on specific sets of hazards.

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