According to our friends at Gateway Safety, there have been changes in coverage, categories, and hazard marking requirements regarding eye and face protection.  In September, 2010, ANSI implemented a new version of the ANSI Z87.1 standard on April 16, 2010.  First, here is the version of Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices.  Sets forth criteria related to the description, general requirements, testing, marking, selection, care, and use of protectors to minimize or prevent injuries, from such hazards as impact, non-ionizing radiation, and chemical type injuries, in occupational and educational environments including, but not limited to, machinery operations, material welding and cutting, chemical handling, and assembly operations. 

 Here are explanations of the changes of additional criteria to the old version of the standard (ANSI Z87.1-2003): 

  • Coverage Requirement: Extended side protection.  Certain spectacles with thin temples will require side shields if they don’t pass the new side coverage requirements.
  • Categories of Eye and Face Protection: “Impact” or “Non Impact.”  Previously, products were categorized as either Basic/High Impact protection, or as a Secondary/Primary protector.  Now, if a product has a plus sign “+” after the standard (Z87.1+), it will indicate that the product is “Impact” rated.  No plus sign “+” after the standard (Z87.1) will indicate that the product is “Non-Impact” rated.
  • Hazard Markings: Based on the risk of impact, splash, dust, etc.  Hazard-based markings are entirely new and meant to encourage users and employers to evaluate the specific hazards in their environment and to select the appropriate eye and face protection based on that hazard evaluation.  Certain lens types will require new markings, such as welding and splash goggles.  

According to OSHA, thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with the proper selection and use of eye and face protection. Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker compensation.  OSHA requires employers to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. Eye and face protection must be provided whenever necessary to protect against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.  There is a myriad of choices of Eye Protection safety glasses; there’s sure to be one that fits the bill for every type of work environment.  Plus, safety glasses aren’t the old plain types that once were all that were available.  Just check them out and see if you won’t be stylin’!  

Eye and face protection is addressed in specific standards for the general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and the construction industry.

Source: Gateway Safety