Let's discuss Nemesis Glasses, Storm Glasses, and the current eye protection standard in the workplace, known as ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020.
There are literally thousands of styles of ANSI-approved safety glasses on the market, primarily catering to the comfort and style concerns of employees. Nemesis glasses and storm glasses are just a couple examples. While we want employees to have stylish, highly-adjustable, and comfortable safety glasses, it is critical that they choose a pair that is appropriate for their given workplace applications.
For example, if there is flying debris involved in a particular workplace task, the gaps around certain styles of safety glasses may not be viewed as acceptable eye protection.
That's where ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 comes in. It is the current standard governing eye protection in the workplace and it makes selection safety glasses straightforward and less complicated.
Does OSHA require ANSI Z87.1 compliance?
Yes. ANSI Z87.1 has been adopted as an OSHA requirement. OSHA standards 1910.133 for General Industry and 1926.102 for Construction (Eye and Face Protection) state that OSHA will accept eye protection that can be demonstrated to be at least as effective as protective eye and face protection devices that are constructed in accordance with ANSI Z87.1 standards.
What do the letter and numbers stamped on my ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 safety glasses mean?
The ANSI Z87.1 standard requires that all safety eyewear be stamped with easy-to-understand lens and frame markings. These markings, listed below, make the selection process straightforward and increase compliance.
Impact & Coverage
Safety glasses are classified as either high-velocity impact (marked with Z87+) or basic impact (marked with Z87). High-velocity protectors must meet the established high mass and high-velocity tests. Glasses will be marked on both the lens and the frame.
Z87+ is a high-velocity impact rating
Z87 is the basic impact rating
Chemical Splash & Dust Protection
Safety glasses intended to provide protection against chemical splash, dust, and fine dust most past through ANSI testing and meet certain performance standards. Glasses meeting the respective requirements will be marked D3 (for splash and droplet), D4 (for dust) or D5 (for fine dust) on both their lens and frame.
D3 indicates splash and droplet protection
D4 indicates protection from dust particles
D5 indicates protection from fine dust
Classifications and marking requirements also can indicate radiation filtration properties and the hazards for which they are intended to provide protection. The shade/scale numbers indicate levels of protection based on the intensity of the hazard:
W plus a shade number indicates the level of welding protection
U plus a scale number indicates the level of UV protection
R plus a scale number indicates the level of infrared light protection
L plus a scale number indicates the visible light filter
Products made for smaller head sizes will be marked with the letter H.
H indicates a product designed for smaller head sizes
Prescription eye protection will be marked with Z87-2 on the front of the frame and on both temples.
Z87-2 stamped on the front of the frame and both temples indicates prescription eyewear
Be aware of these additional markings to help make the selection process of ANSI Z87.1 safety eyewear easier.
V indicates photochromic lenses
S indicates a special lens tint
X indicates eyewear has passed the fog test and can resist fogging
RELATED: For some applications, anti-fog safety glasses can help address visibility, while keeping the eyes protected from other hazards. Read our guide on the best anti-fog safety glasses here.
What's new with ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020?
The 2020 update emphasized the importance of wearing the right eye protection for the specific task performed. Specifically, ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 implemented the following revisions to 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 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 headform.
RELATED: There is more to eye protection than simply wearing safety glasses and calling it a day. Read more about the ANSI standards regarding eye wash stations and showers here.
Which popular styles of ANSI Z87.1 safety glasses are available from Wesco Safety?
The Nemesis combines single-lens wraparound protection with a sleek, sporty style. Glasses feature lightweight construction and soft-touch temples for all-day comfort. Polarized lenses reduce glare and lessen eye strain and fatigue. Nemesis also provides 99% UVA/UVB/UVC protection and extends the range of peripheral protection. The neck cord will keep these glasses with you at all times.
Workers will "storm" to wear this safety eyewear. Unique straight nylon temple has ratchet adjustable lens inclination and non-slip head grips. These storm safety glasses can be worn in rain, snow, during high-impact applications, and provide an ergonomic design for extended tasks.
Change your Outlook regarding eye protection. These safety glasses are so lightweight and the cushioned nose buds are so soft that you might even forget that you're wearing eye protection. Customize the fit of your glasses with the adjustable temples.
Do faceshields meet ANSI Z87.1?
Since faceshields are classified as "secondary" eye protection, either ANSI Z87.1-approved safety glasses or goggles must be worn underneath your faceshield to be considered adequate eye protection. In other words, while faceshields do provide good protection from chemical splashes and flying debris to the face, they are not approved as a standalone eye protection product.
Redefine protection, visibility and comfort with the Bionic Faceshield. Unit is designed for protection against impact, liquid splashes and welding hazards. Faceshield is lightweight and comfortable, so it can be worn all day for applications such as grinding, sanding, woodworking, spray painting, etc. Premium features include built-in chin protection, extended top-of-head coverage and a ratcheting headgear mechanism. Unit can be worn with goggles or a respirator.
Where can I learn more?
ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020: American National Standard For Occupational And Educational Personal Eye And Face Protection Devices is available on the ANSI Webstore. If you have any further questions on this topic, feel free to contact our Safety Support Team.