Z87 Safety Glasses Explained- What does it mean and why is it important?

Z87 Safety Glasses Explained- What does it mean and why do my Safety Glasses need this rating?

So, you’ve been informed that you need to buy a pair of safety glasses that are ANSI Z87+ rated, the first thing you do is hop online and surf the internet for the perfect pair of safety glasses that comply with this rating, right? 

But, like many other people throughout the United States, this fleeting thought may have crossed your mind: ‘what does this strange jumble of letters actually mean and why do my glasses need this certification’...

If these thoughts have popped into your head, then keep on reading this blog post, as we explain what this rating actually means and why it is an important factor to consider; when deciding what safety glasses you should buy!

What does the term ANSI Z87+ mean?

ANSI stands for the American National Standards Institute. This organisation defines, explains and protects the standard for product conformity in The US. In other words, this means that they ensure that products provided in America are suited and up to scratch with their relevant rating systems.

ANSI Z87+ is a shortened version of the term ‘ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015: The American National Standard For Occupational and Educational Personal Eye And Face Protection Devices. Now, not only is this term not very catchy, it’s also a little bit too long and therefore wouldn't belong on a pair of Safety Glasses. Hence the abbreviation!

Safety Glasses that are ANSI Z87+ certified are designed and built to protect you. As they  go through robust, rigorous testing, research and design. Safety glasses with this rating minimize the risk of harmful and hazardous materials injuring your eyes! 

Safety Glasses with these ratings are designed to be used in environments such as: laboratories, where your eyesight may be placed at risk due to chemical handling, the use of sharp objects and the chance of debris flying around the atmosphere.

ANSI rated safety glasses and goggles are designed to protect those wearing them from chemical splashes, heavy impact, dust dispersal and particles, and even radiation. 

Safety Glasses with this rating also protect you against intense heat and the potential impact it may have on your precious eyesight.

How are Safety Glasses Tested Under ANSI z87.1?

Safety Goggles and Safety Eyewear tested under these regulations must pass a series of basic trials. These trials will analyse how effective specific safety glasses are when faced with:

  • Dust dispersal.
  • Chemical / liquid spray or splashing.
  • Blunt impact or force.

These trials need to be intensive and interrogative so that the safety glasses (+googles/ spoggles) can be deemed safe for professional use within varying industries. 

In fact, people who regularly work with sawing, drilling and grinding tools or harmful materials such as chemicals or bio products are required to wear ANSI rated eyewear for the utmost protection.

Impact Testing

Testing for impact is intricate. For example, impact testing will analyse how eyewear reacts to medium energy impact from a steel ball, to high energy impact from higher velocity attack with larger masses. 

Goggles will need to withstand blunt impact at speed as well as a considerable weight. You'll find a 'W+' on your goggle lens, or a simple '+' on your goggle arms if they've passed this test.

Splash Testing

Liquid and dust testing are similarly intensive. You will be able to tell whether or not safety eyewear has passed the ANSI trials for these hazards by checking for the following marking:

  • A 'D3' marking shows that goggles are resistant to liquid splashing.
  • A 'D4' marking shows that eyewear is protected against most dust.
  • A 'D5' marking applies to goggles which are resistant against the finest dust.

Note: goggles with prominent vents will not pass this test. Venting is important in terms of anti fog protection, maintaining clear vision. Whereas some vented models have passed this test with indirect venting systems, there is often a compromise between protection and fogging.

Other ANSI Tests

ANSI z87 regulations also check for ultraviolet or UV protection. Eyewear which has passed these tests will carry a 'U' and a number ranking their protection level. 'U5' or 'U6', for example, are highly-rated and extremely protective.

Check out these photos, showing the product markings of safety glasses with ANSI Z87 + ratings...The images below show our ToolFreak (insert specific glasses) range that have undergone thorough tests and trials to be ANSI Z87+ certified.

Why should you make sure your safety glasses are ANSI Z87+ certified?

Eye injuries are becoming increasingly common in the workplace, in fact, Statistics show that every single year over 800,000 eye injuries take place on the job, with 36,000 of those injured having to take time off work! 

Wearing protective eyewear can minimise the chance of injury by maximising your level of protection. We would highly recommend investing in safety glasses that meet ANSI Z87+ certifications, as you will feel safe and secure knowing that your eyes are being properly protected. Your eyesight is so important yet so fragile, so you should try your hardest to look after your eyes, and in return, they will look after you.

If you have found this blog useful and informative, please do get in touch and let us know! We appreciate any comments or feedback. Also, if you have any questions, please don’t hesitate to get in touch, we would love to help you! Here at ToolFreak, we take great pride in being safety eyewear experts and will happily assist and answer your questions!

If you want to learn more about safety eyewear, then check out our blog! We regularly upload interesting and informative blogs to our website. We have composed Blog Posts all about the correct ratings for safety glasses in The UK & Europe, so go check them out if they are more relevant to you.

Also, if you like the safety glasses in the photos above, check out our range of safety eyewear at: www.toolfreak.com

Until next time,

The ToolFreak Team! 



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