What Does ANSI Z87.1 Certified Mean?

What Does ANSI Z87.1 Certified Mean?

, by Chas Waters, 3 min reading time

Professionals operating in fields such as construction, science and manufacturing require the proper tools to complete jobs onsite. In some cases, protective eyewear and other gear is necessary for safety. ANSI stands for The American National Standards Institute, which is a nonprofit organization dedicated to testing various products to ensure they withstand environmental factors, and this is where the extension of Z87.1 comes into play.

Business owners and employees must have an understanding of their surroundings, and ANSI Z87.1 guidelines help them identify the limits of safety glasses, face masks and more. ANSI standards make it possible for individuals to select safety equipment for risks involving impacts, liquid splashes, radiation exposure, dust and shrapnel.

The Importance of ANSI Z87.1 Standards for Safety Glasses

ANSI is not controlled by the U.S. government, but standards set by this group are still influential over Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) eye and face protection regulations. The goal of the Z87.1 policy is to create an organization system for teams to reduce chances of workplace injuries. You can tell if a product fulfills the requirements set by ANSI when you see “Z87.1” marked on it.

Note that the Z87.1 identification encompasses a wide variety of environmental hazards. Employers and workers must pay special attention to any other symbols on the label to determine if eyewear is suitable for certain applications.

What Does ANSI Approved Mean?

In order for eye protection to receive ANSI approval, third parties perform tests on equipment. Testing typically involves exposing eyewear to a number of abrasive materials to see how the components handle high-level impacts, non-ionizing radiation, heat and dangerous liquids. Third-party tests help companies see where improvements can be made before achieving Z87.1 compliance.

ANSI Z87.1 standards date back to 2003, but two different revisions were put into place in 2010 and 2015. For the latest protective eyewear, check the year that follows the identification markings. Protective glasses with the most recent level of compliance will read, “ANSI Z87.1-2015.”

ANSI Z87.1 Certified Safety Glasses and Symbols

Simply having the Z87.1 marking does not make a pair of safety glasses correct for your work site. Standards set by ANSI call for additional codes to be placed on packaging or equipment to communicate intended use. Some safety glasses are optimized for certain industries, and a series of letters, numbers and symbols make it easy for users to make an educated purchase.

Markings for safety-rated eye protection fall into categories based on impact rating, splash and dust resistance, and radiation thresholds. Keep the following in mind when purchasing prescription and non-prescription safety glasses:

  • Markings with a “+” symbol show that products are suitable for high-velocity impacts.
  • D3 markings mean products are acceptable for splashes and droplets.
  • D4 markings indicate standard dust protection.
  • D5 markings mean the eyewear can handle fine dust particles.
  • The letter W shows that the eyewear is for welding applications.
  • The letter U means that the product is tested for UV radiation.
  • The letter R indicates that a product is applicable for infra-red protection.
  • The letter L means the equipment is compliant as a light filter.
  • The letter H refers to the fit of the eyewear (“H” is smaller in size).
  • A “Z87-2” marking indicates the eyewear meets a prescription.

Contact Panther Vision for ANSI Z87.1 Safety Glasses

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At Panther Vision, we pride ourselves on providing customers with patented products that increase safety and efficiency onsite. Look no further than our online store for approved ANSI Z87.1 safety glasses with built-in LEDs and polycarbonate construction. Browse our selection today and fill out a contact form online with any questions and inquiries.

About the Author:

Chas Waters

As the VP of Sales and Marketing for Panther Vision, Chas Waters has played a pivotal part in helping Panther Vision continue to create innovative lighting products. As a true outdoorsman, Chas brings a wealth of expertise into what lighting solutions are the most useful for our customers. He has been a key member of the Panther Vision team, starting in the business when he was 16 years old, and prides himself in finding the best solutions to help our customers experience the outdoors and make their lives easier with our products.


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