OCT 16

What is the ANSI Standard for Safety Glasses?

Safety glasses form a part of protective wear usually worn by workers to protect their eyes. The safety glasses shield the eyes from any other foreign bodies that may irritate and injure the eye when someone is engaged in an activity. Anyone, depending on their particular needs, can wear safety glasses. For instance, safety glasses can have different types of like filtered, changeable, low light lenses, polarized, clear, tinted, and bifocal, among many others. Discover more about the ANSI standard for safety glasses below.

Warden Safety Glasses

There is another type of safety eyewear known as goggles, and it protects eyes from such risks as sparks, bright lights from welding and metal grinding or cutting, flying debris, and chemical splashes from liquids. Safety glasses are made from nylon and have side shields to cover the eyes from flying matter getting into the eyes.

Safety glasses are an invaluable asset to workers in places with high hazardous risks like laboratories, woodwork, and engineering workshops. The type of eye protection used depends on the type of hazard that may be present. Workers in high eye injury risk areas also need eye side protection against flying object hazards.  Eyeglasses must also have side protection to prevent the risk of ultraviolet rays and harm to the eyes.

The Importance of Eye Protection to Workers in A Hazardous Environment

Eye protection is a critical precaution to take for any worker whose work environment is full of risks of eye injury. The vitality of the eye in the human body cannot be taken for granted. The eyes form a critical part of any individual’s job completion yet the human eye may be exposed to some imminent dangers in some settings.

It is imperative to find the right eye protection gadget depending on an individual’s work environment. Even with the vitality of the eye wears, it is important to further enhance human eye safety by adhering to the ANSI standard for safety glasses.

Background on the Importance of ANSI and its Relation to Eye Wear Safety

The ANSI is the main institution in fostering technological development in the U.S. the organization works in association with other U.S. agencies in enhancing product safety. Various safety glass types serve particular needs; for instance, welders need goggles that can prevent bright light from damaging their eyes.

On the other hand, carpenters or anyone who works in a wood workshop needs safety glasses that can prevent sawdust and flying wood shavings or chippings from entering their eyes. Generally, there are two types of safety glasses, namely, medically recommended safety glasses and non-medical safety glasses, also referred to as ‘Plano’ safety glasses.

prescription safety glasses starting at  dollars

There is a difference between regular spectacles and safety glasses, and the former cannot be classified as safety glasses unless they can fulfill a specific criterion. Under this category, further classification can be done on safety glasses according to use, strength, and in which specific environment they are put to use.

There are glasses for high impact eye protection for workers in such occupations as carpenters, plumbers, lathe machine operators, and general laborers. These and other high impact operation areas may need goggles, side shields, or full-face protection. Prescription eyeglasses can only be bought from an eye doctor.

There are also safety glasses that are suited for sports activities such as fishing and shooting, and these activities require glasses with lenses that have a higher rating of impact. Hunting also requires lenses that have an anti-reflective exterior to reduce reflections that may distract someone.

Properties of Safety Glasses and the ANSI Standard for Safety Glasses

Safety glass lenses must be certified and meet the requirement shock resistance, as stated in the American National Standards Institute of strength and endurance. For eye protection against the following hazards; sand, dust particles, flying fragments, large chips or objects, the lenses must meet the  impact ANSI rating for  Z87-2+ (Rx frame), Z87+ (Plano frame), Z87+ (all other lenses) which includes Chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, riveting, and sanding.

The maker’s certification mark must be on all authorized frames (temple and front), safety lenses, any other part of the glasses, and the removable side shields. Safety frames should be stronger than standard street ware and more heat resistant.

They should also be designed in a way to prevent lenses from getting pushed into the eyes. Furthermore, Safety glasses that meet the ANSI standards should be made of materials such as Hi-Vex, which is clear, is available with all surface coatings, provides 100% UV filtering, and is more resistant than CR39 plastic material. 

Worker Using Angle Grinder
Worker Using Angle Grinder in Factory and throwing sparks

The ANSI standard for safety glasses requires that an item’s capability to prevent particular hazards should be marked on that specific item. Additional markings according to the ANSI standards are categorized as follows; according to ANSI standards, eye shielding is classified as shock or non-shock rated. Glasses with high a high impact rated protection must pass a specific high speed and load test, and grant side eye protection.

All eye protection that is impact-rated must have an addition (+) sign. Dust protection and splash or droplet safety glasses that meet ANSI conditions should be marked with letter codes that commence with the letter ‘D.’ Droplet and splash protection safety glasses are supposed to be marked with the code ‘D3′ while dust protection eyewear labeled with the code ‘D4′. Lastly, safety glasses that shield the eye from dust are marked as ‘D5.’

Eyeglasses made of polycarbonate have built-in UV radiation filtering ability, have the highest impact among all lens materials, are light in weight, and can also be coated to become scratch-resistant. A glass made with Plastic CR39 is resistant to solvents and weighs less than half the weight of glass and meets the ANSI standards for safety glasses.

For, Infrared light hazards, spectacles with side protection are required with a marking of IR: R and scale number, while visible light hazards will require a spectacle with a trademark of Visible L and scale number on the ANSI standards chart. Glasses with side protection and Ultraviolet rays risks with a marking of UV and scale number should be worn. The user must ensure no direct UV light penetrates all non-lens areas.

All safety glasses that prevent the eyes against the effects of radiation are made of Anti-UV coating, which can absorb up to 99.9% of harmful ultraviolet radiation. The capacity of a lens to shield contrary to the detrimental effects of heat rays is denoted with an alphabetical letter and after that, followed by the rating number.

Some markings on safety wear that protect against the risk of UV radiation are W denoting welding filter and a number between 1.3 to 14. The letter ‘U indicates ultraviolet (UV) filter,’ and after that, a number between 2 and 6,  R plus a number between 1.3 and 10  denotes Infrared heat filter and finally, L plus a number between 1.3 and 10 represents a glare or a visible light filter. 

Infra-red (Heat) Filter: ‘Infra-red (Heat) Filter: ‘R’ followed by a number between 1.3 to 10. Visible Light (Glare) Filter: ‘L’ followed by a number on a scale from 1.3 to 10.

Factors to Consider When Buying Safety Glasses

It is essential to incorporate the ANSI Z87.1 certification as a precursor to buying any protective wear, and the advantage of this is that the above standard indicates what kind of eyewear one needs for a particular hazard. Though this is an industrial requirement, it is prudent to make it a minimum standard when buying safety eyewear for home or recreation use.

Secondly, it’s good to know the hazards that are common around the home, workplace, or recreation area. Common hazardous risks include dust, heat, chemicals low and high-speed impacts, radiation that affects eyes, amongst others. It is also essential for the worker or individual at home to evaluate the specific activities that they’re involved in daily.  Through this, one can identify common dangers, and then make purchase decisions to shield against those risks.

Other more labor-intensive trades or occupations like welding, laser technician need full protection; however, eyewear that meets safety standards sufficiently meet the needs of most people. In most safety glasses, the lens coating ensures versatility and durability.

Standard lens coatings include anti-fog, anti-glare, and anti-scratch. It is advisable to select anti-fog safety glasses in areas of changing temperatures and high humidity levels. Lens coatings make eyewear more versatile and last longer; some of the most common are anti-scratch and anti-fog.

prescription safety glasses for dusty environments

Be sure to choose anti-fog glasses if varying temperatures and high humidity are regular concerns. For persons who require prescription eyewear, the need to consult certified eye medics is of primary importance, because daily use of prescription corrective lenses cannot offer proper protection against the majority of workplace face and eye hazards.

The worker must ensure that the protective wear fits in with the regular prescription eyewear so that vision is not hampered. People who need prescription safety glasses have three significant alternatives, the first one is acquiring eyeglasses from an optometrist, and secondly, they can opt for over- the counter prescription safety glasses that fit in well with regular prescription glasses.

Over-prescription safety glasses can offer different coatings and tints, and finally, they can also work with safety glasses fitted with the prescription lens inserts. These glasses are equipped with the prescription then inserted on the back of the individual’s preferred safety wear.

All ANSI87.1 approved safety eyewear have undergone rigorous analysis to guarantee eye protection as anticipated. The following tests are conducted on all safety wear before certification, sturdiness to fire and rust, the effect of contact with non- ionizing radiation and other chemicals and velocity, and weight impact for lenses and frames.

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