Learn More About Choosing the Right Safety Eyewear
- Compliance for Safety Glasses: ANSI 287.1-2003
- Lens Coatings for Safety Glasses
- Lens Color for Safety Glasses
- Hazard Assessment and Protection Required
- Safety Glasses Definitions
Compliance for Safety Glasses: ANSI 287.1-2003
ANSI Z87.1-2003 (Z87+)
Choose safety glasses that comply with ANSI standards.
ANSI Z87.1-2003, a replacement to Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), is truly performance driven. The most noticeable difference deals with eye protector impact levels. Two levels of impact resistance, “Basic” and “High” are now defined for safety glasses. Marking requirements have changed to reflect these levels of impact performance. Devices that meet the “High” impact criteria must be marked “Z87+”. Frames should meet the “High” impact level. If the eye protector only meets the “Basic” impact criteria, a warning label must be attached to the protector. Currently, ANSI Z87.1-1989 is incorporated by reference into the OSHA regulations, and, as such, carries the force of the law.
Lens Coatings for Safety Glasses
- Anti-Fog Coatings provide excellent fog prevention in humid environments where sudden shifts in temperature occur.
- Anti-Scratch Coatings extend lens life in abrasive environments where scratches are possible.
- Anti-Static Coatings reduces dust and particulate attraction to the lens.
- Hard Coatings are permanently bonded to lens to extend lens life.
- Anti-UV Coatings absorb more than 99.9% of harmful ultraviolet radiation.
Lens Color for Safety Glasses
Understand the functionality of task-specific lenses and determine what type of safety glasses are best for your application and environment. A good rule of thumb is to choose a lens based on color opposites. For example, blue is opposite of yellow and red is opposite of green. So, red lenses absorb green light and yellow lenses absorb blue/ultraviolet light and vice versa.
- Clear Safety Glasses
For general indoor applications where impact protection is required.
- Gray/Smoke Safety Glasses
For outdoor applications where light and glare can cause eye strain and fatigue. Provides good color recognition.
- Mirror Safety Glasses
A clear lens with a slight mirror coating serves the same purpose as gray lens, yet allows more visible light through the lens for indoor/outdoor use. Reduces glare from artificial light.
- Gold, Blue & Silver Mirror Safety Glasses
Use outdoor where sunlight and glare cause eye strain and fatigue. “Mirror” coating reflects light, reducing the amount of light that passes through the lens.
- Dark Green Safety Glasses
General-purpose protection from glare and UV radiation.
- Brown/Espresso Safety Glasses
For outdoor applications where sunlight and glare cause eye strain and fatigue. Good for color traffic signal recognition requirements.
- Vermilion/Red Safety Glasses
Enhances contrast while reducing all color equally for optimum color recognition. Ideal for indoor inspection.
- Amber Safety Glasses
Blocks the blue portion of the visible light spectrum, creating maximum contrast enhancement, particularly in low light.
- Filter Shades Safety Glasses
Protect against ultraviolet and infrared radiation generated when working with molten metal, and in welding, cutting, soldering and brazing operations.
- Shades 1.5–3
- Shades 3–4
- Shades 3–6
- Shades 4–8
- Shades 10–14
Electric arc welding.
- Clear Safety Glasses
Hazard Assessment & Protection Required
Protection Required Hazard Type Common Related Tasks Safety Glasses Goggles Welding Laser Face Shield Impact—Flying objects such as large chips, fragments, particles, sand and dirt. Chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, riveting and sanding. x x x Heat—Hot sparks, splash from molten metal and high-temperature exposure. Furnace operations, pouring, casting, hot dipping, gas cutting and welding. x x x Chemicals—Splash, fumes, vapors and irritating mists. Chemical handling, degreasing and plating. x x Dust—Nuisance. Woodworking, buffing and general dusty conditions. x Optical Radiation—Radiant energy, glare and intense light. Welding, torch cutting, brazing energy, glare and intense light. soldering and laser work. x x x
Safety Glasses Definitions
- Face Shield—A supplementary protective device worn to shield the wearer’s face from certain hazards. Face shields are secondary protectors only and must be worn with safety glasses or goggles, as stated in ANSI Z87.1.
- Goggle—A protective device that fits the face, surrounding the eyes in order to shield them from impact, splash and vapor hazards. Available non-vented or with direct or indirect vents.
- Impact Resistance—The ability of safety eyewear to withstand impact when tested according to ANSI requirements.
- Infrared Radiation—Electromagnetic energy with wavelengths from 780 to 2000 nanometers (nm).
- LASER—An acronym for Light Amplification by Stimulated Emissions of Radiation.
- Lens Impact Resistance—A lens capable of withstanding the appropriate impact tests of ANSI Z87.1.
- Luminous Transmittance—The fraction of light (380–780nm) passing through a medium.
- Nanometer (nm)—One billionth of a meter, 10-9 meter.
- Optical Radiation—The part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths between 200 and 2000nm.
- Sideshield—A part of safety glasses, commonly attached to spectacles, that provides protection to the side of the eye.
- Ultraviolet Radiation—Electromagnetic energy with wavelengths from 200–380nm, per ANSI Z87.1.
- Welding Helmet—A protective device intended to shield the eyes and face from optical radiation and impact. Welding helmets are secondary protectors and shall be used only in conjunction with primary protectors.