The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has approved and issued the new ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection (ANSI Z87.1-2015). This standard went into effect May 28, 2015, and updates the 2010 version. While the scope of the standard remains mostly unchanged, there are a number of modifications that have significant impact. The following outlines these changes and how they impact eye protection and the methods companies use to select safety products.
ANSI Z87.1-2015 continues to focus on product performance and reflects the need to streamline testing methods to harmonize with global standards to allow new and innovative designs to protect against hazards, meet end-users needs and workplace regulations. This consists of acceptance of protectors known as “magnifiers” and “readers” that have lenses, or portion of lenses that have magnification properties. The new Z87.1-2015 standard fine-tunes the hazard-based structure of choosing protectors, a concept first introduced in 2010. In the revised standard, additional emphasis has been placed on enabling users to select protectors suitable for their working environment and providing end-users with information to facilitate the selection process.
Optical Requirements of Refractive Powers
ANSI Z87.1-2015 specifies that the telescope and observer shall be qualified by resolving pattern 40 of the test pattern instead of pattern 20. The revised standard states that the average refractive power of lenses with astigmatism is used instead of each meridian.
Physical Requirements of Drop Ball Impact Resistance
ANSI Z87.1-2015 elaborates on the specifications of testing apparatus used in the drop ball test. The projectile will be dropped from a height of 127cm (50”) through a loose fitting guide tube with a smooth internal diameter ending 10cm (4”) above the point of contact. The revised standard eliminates the need to perform drop ball testing for a protector that is first tested to and meet the requirements of impact resistance.
Minimum Lens Thickness
ANSI Z87.1-2015 eliminates the requirements for minimum lens thickness of non-prescription protectors which passed the requirements for impact rated protectors. The minimum lens thickness for prescription protectors remains as 2mm (0.08”).
The revised standard states that markings on protectors shall be placed in relatable distance from each other on the product in the following order:
- Manufacturer’s marks or logos, for e.g. WORKSafe® “W”
- Designation of standard (Z87 or Z87-2, for prescription devices)
- Individual claims of compliance
- impact rated marking (+)
- lens type
- use applications
If manufacturer’s marks or logos are clearly present elsewhere on the protector, they will not be subjected to the proximity requirement. Markings representing other standards shall not interfere with or be mixed with markings required by ANSI Z87.1-2015.
High Velocity Impact
New ANSI Z87.1-2015 allows the use of a steel ball of diameter 6mm (0.24”), travelling at 50.9m/s (167 ft/s) or a steel ball with diameter 6.35mm (0.25”) travelling at 45.7m/s (150 ft/s) when conducting the high velocity impact test on the complete devices.
- Safety Prescription (SRX) Lens Material Qualification
Representative SRX lens must be tested to resist high velocity impact using steel ball of either diameter 6mm and 6.35mm as specified in Section 3.3.1.
- Safety Prescription (SRX) Lens Mounting Qualification
Complete SRX eyewear with representative test lens and retention system shall be capable of resisting high velocity impact using steel ball of either diameter 6mm and 6.35mm as defined in Section 3.3.1.
Protectors Providing Filtration of Optical Radiation
- Special Purpose Filters
Special purpose filters, both tinted and extra dark, marked “S”, may or may not comply to requirements for welding, UV and visible light filters, but shall comply with the transmittance requirements for special purpose lenses.
- Visible Light Filters
Protectors marked L1.3 to L3 must meet transmittance requirements of traffic signal recognition and UV transmittance of ANSI Z80.3-2010, American National Standard for Ophthalmics – Nonprescription Sunglasses and Fashion Eyewear Requirements. While protectors marked L4 to L10 are too dark to be used for driving, they shall meet UV transmittance requirements of ANSI Z80.3-2010.
- Transmittance of Non-Lens Components
If a spectacle claims to meet the transmittance requirements of welding, UV and infrared filter lenses, the side shields of the spectacles shall be tested to the maximum scale number of the lens with which they will be fitted. Wraparound lenses which have the side protection as part of the lenses will be subjected to the same testing.
- Angular Dependence of Luminous Transmittance
Requirements for angular dependence of luminous transmittance for welding filters have also been added to address visual effect that welders can find both dangerous and disturbing.
Droplet and Splash, Dust and Fine Dust Hazard
In ANSI Z87.1-2015, the passing criteria for the droplet and splash, and fine dust hazard tests have been changed. No colouration should be observed within either of the two circles described in the test method when performing droplet and splash test on goggle and fine dust particle test on the protectors.
Important Notes for Safety Prescription (SRX) Eyewear
1.Minimum Lens Thickness of SRX Lens
SRX eyewear must be fitted with impact rated SRX lens with a minimum thickness of 2mm (0.08”).
2.SRX Optical Requirements – Refractive Power, Astigmatism, Prism and Prism Imbalance for RXProtectors and Magnifiers
SRX lens must be tested according to and comply with the tolerance on refractive power, astigmatism, prism and prism imbalance as stated in ANSI Z80.1-2010, American National Standard for Ophthalmics – Prescription Ophthalmic Lenses Recommendations.
3.SRX Lens Material Qualification
Representative SRX lens must be tested to resist high velocity impact using a steel ball of diameter 6mm (0.24”) travelling at 50.9m/s (167 ft/s) or a steel ball with diameter 6.35mm (0.25”) travelling at 45.7m/s (150 ft/s).
4.SRX Lens Mounting Qualification
Complete SRX eyewear with representative test lens and retention system shall be capable of resisting high mass and high velocity impact. A new lens retention test is required of prescription safety laboratories fabricating impact rated SRX eyewear to determine their ability to consistently produce lenses that will be retained in the various frame types they choose to sell. SRX frame manufacturers must also test their frames to this lens retention test.
5.SRX Lens Carrier (RX Insert)/SRX Eyewear with Lift Fronts
The complete device with prescription lenses in +5.0 and -5.0 diopters fitted in the carrier, behind the plano eyewear shall be tested. RX lens carrier used behind plano protectors shall be marked with the manufacturer’s mark or logo but not any other Z87 markings. Complete devices with SRX eyewear and lift fronts shall be tested with the lift front in the “up” position.
6.SRX Side Shield Attachment
SRX eyewear must be equipped with side shields that can be securely or permanently attached to pass the side impact test.