The International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) has updated the American National Standard for eye and face protection. The enhanced standard reinforces the emphasis on matching the protector to the hazard and includes other enhancements responsive to the evolving needs for workers, particularly those engaged in specific tasks or applications. 

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020, American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection, prescribes the design, performance specifications, and marking of safety eye and face products, including millions of safety goggles, spectacles, faceshields, and welding helmets worn by workers in a variety of manufacturing and processing facilities, utilities and transportation, university and research laboratories, and other occupational settings. Products conforming to the standard are widely used in the US, and the standard is incorporated into OSHA regulations for personal protective equipment.

The 2020 version includes testing, performance and marking criteria for lenses with anti-fog properties.

“We are committed to developing standards that provide direct benefit to the end-user,” said J.P. Sankpill, Chairman of the Z87 Committee and Director – Safety Regulatory Compliance and SED Accounts for Essilor of America. “It is known that fogging can impede a wearer’s ability to perform work safely. We want to enable solutions that minimize potential harm created by continually adjusting or removing eyewear that is providing protection from impact, splash or other hazards.”

In consideration of specific applications, such as those performed by first responders and military personnel, this current version includes criteria and requisite markings for protectors offering relaxed optics as an option to the long-standing requirements.

“We recognize that there are certain applications that may not require the stringent optical criteria historically imposed, particularly when balanced against other competing needs or protections associated with specific tasks,” stated Sankpill. “While ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020 does provide for relaxed optics as an option, that may not be appropriate for common industrial applications or laboratory environments, and we encourage product specifiers to rely on proper hazard assessments when choosing the appropriate products.”

Other key updates address the emergence of innovative product designs which past editions did not contemplate. These are seen by changes in transmittance allowances to recognize the unique properties of wrap lenses and expanded welding filter shades. Additional clarifications have been made throughout to provide consistency in testing execution, such as when applying dark-state tolerances for automatic darkening welding filters or determining the minimum coverage area with respect to the specified headform.

The standard can be purchased from ISEA for $62 or any of its licensed resellers. For more information, contact Cristine Z. Fargo, ISEA Vice President, Operations and Technical Services, [email protected].