Understanding the type of eye protection a worker needs goes hand in hand with knowing what contributes to and/or causes eye injuries, as well as how they can be prevented.
Eye injuries can happen as a result of striking or scraping, penetration of a foreign objectas well as chemical or thermal burns(also known as welder's eye). Injuries that are the result of striking or scraping happen when particles or objects become airborne from tools ejecting them, flying objects, or falling from above and as a result either strike or scrape the eye. Whereas penetration is when items including nails, staples or other objects go through the eyeball and can lead to permanent vision loss.
Lastly chemicals or cleaning products can splash causing burns. A majority of these injuries can be prevented by wearing the proper PPE. The right choice is based on the specific work you are performing, the hazards you will encounter, and your own vision needs. Speaking with an Arbill Safety Advisorcan help you find the best solution for your situation.
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Understanding Impact Requirements
ANSI has established the Z87 standardwhich is used for safety glasses, safety goggles, side shields and other eye and face protection devices. According to the ANSI website, this standard sets forth criteria related to the general requirements, testing, permanent marking, selection, care, and use of protectors 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.
Z87 vs. Z87+ Standard
The Z87 designation means that the eyewear has been tested for regular impact, and the Z87+ measures high impact, and is what sets it apart from the Z87 standard.
For eye protection to pass Z87+, the lens, frames, and all components must remain intact after undergoing a series of tests, including a high mass test and a high-velocity test.
The Z87+ tests are an indicator of the strength of the product and its ability to protect the worker from a variety of workplace accidents like tools falling, collision with an object or airborne particles.
Prescription frames rated for impact protection will have the Z87-2+ marking.
Eyewear may have use markings indicating droplet and dust protection. Lenses that meet this requirement will have a “D” followed by a number:
Lens Designations and Markings
In addition to the above Z87 and Use Markings, your safety glasses may contain designations that indicate the following:
|SGAF/AS: Scotchguard™ anti-fog coating/anti-scratch lens|
Base Curve– a higher base curve provides greater wraparound protection and peripheral vision; a high base curve may eliminate the need for side shields
“L”+ a number (1.3 to 10) – the Visible Light Filter rating
|“R”+ a number (1.3 to 10) – the Infrared Filter rating|
“V”– variable tint (or transition) lens designation
“S”– special purpose lens designation
“U”+ a number (2 to 6) – the Ultraviolet light scale rating
“W”+ a number (1.3 to 14) – a welding designation, including the lens shade number and the extent to which a welding lens will filter harmful radiation
“H”– coverage for small heads
Training and Education
To ensure employee safety, it is important that employers establish a clear written policy and appropriately train employees on the proper use of and when eyewear should be worn.
Contact Arbill EH&S Managed Services for help with site assessment and gap analysis, PPE matrix development, safety consulting and training augmentation as well as assisting your organization with additional compliance needs.
Have a Safe Day!