PPE:ANSI Standards and Eye Protection

The American National Standards Institute has been developing safety standards since the 1920’s, when they approved the first safety standards to protect the eyes and heads of industrial workers.

FYI:  The proper standards are listed below:

  • Eye and Face        ANSI 787.1 – 1989
  • Head            ANSI 789.1 – 1986
  • Foot            ANSI 741.1 – 1991


Work-related eye injuries alone cost over $300 million dollars per year, in lost production time, worker compensation, and medical expenses.  Workers who are exposed to hazards such as molten metal, dust, dirt, wood chips, liquid chemical splashes, flying particles, gases or vapors, caustic liquids, infection-related materials, and light radiation must wear the appropriate eye and face protection.  Improper or poor-fitting eyewear will not ensure safety from eye injury.  If workers wear prescription lens, there are safety glasses that comfortably fit over the prescription glasses, or some safety eyewear can be made with the prescription in them.  Contact lens wearers must wear eye/face protection when working in hazardous settings.
Types of Eye/Face Protection:

  • Safety Spectacles – Impact resistant lenses; safety frames are usually made from metal             or plastic. Side shields may be added for further protection.
  • Welding Shields – Vulcanized fiber/fiberglass with filtered lens, protect from infrared burns, radiant light sparks, slag chips, and metal.  Shades on the shields are numbered, and the welder must use the correct shade number according to tasks being done to secure eyes from harmful light radiation.
  • Laser Safety Goggles –Protect from intense concentrations of laser light. These are special goggles.
  • Face Shields – Sheets of transparent plastic, (sometimes polarized), which goes from eyebrows to below chin and across width of head.  They do not absorb impacts; however, they work well with goggles or safety spectacles against impact hazards.  Protect face from splashes, dust, sprays, etc.

Source: OSHA

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