Why the ANSI 87.1 Standard Matters When Choosing Proper Eye and Face Protection as Hard Hat Accessories
Protective gear must be chosen by understanding and complying with the information contained in ANSI/ISEA Z87.1.
Whether choosing eye and/or face protection safety equipment as standalone gear or as integrated hard hat accessories, protective gear must be chosen by understanding and complying with the information contained in ANSI/ISEA Z87.1—American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices.
ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 is the sixth and most recent version of the voluntary industry consensus standard for eye and face protection. While it is a voluntary standard, it is codified by OSHA and requires employers to provide appropriate eye and face safety gear conforming to industry standards.
While much of the standard is essentially the same as previous iterations, it does allow for some relaxed optical criteria in some cases where a more stringent, historically imposed requirement isn’t necessary. However, most apply to non-industry operations such as first-responder, firefighting and military personnel.
Industrial applications should still have an appropriate hazard assessment done for selecting the proper eye and face protection gear. This will also help determine if eye and face protection equipment is used as a standalone product or in conjunction with head protection as a hard hat accessory or add-on component.
Additionally, emerging technologies not anticipated by the writers of past editions are taken into account in the 2020 version. This includes, but is not limited to, tolerances for automatic darkening welding filters, and determining the testing requirements for minimum coverage area with regards to head form testing of gear submitted by safety equipment manufacturers.
What the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 Means for You as an Industry Professional
Proper eye and face protection are essential for keeping workers from harm on the jobsite. A hazard analysis and safety assessment will provide the information needed, determining the potential hazards in the workplace. Once completed, you can use this standard to determine the products that meet the criteria for the hazards found and documented.
This article originally appeared in the August 2020 issue of Occupational Health & Safety.