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If you have recently purchased safety glasses then you might have seen the z87 mark on the side of the glasses. Some of the glasses have Z87+ marking and some of them also have ANSI Z87.1 marking. Yes, all safety glasses have to have the mark of Z87. let’s see what does it mean.
The marking you see on your safety glasses indicates specific safety rating of the eyewear, part of American National Standards Institute – ANSI Z87. The purpose of ANSI is to oversee and assist with the development of safety standards for the United States. It creates a uniform testing standard which all the manufacturers are required to follow.
The ANSI Z87 rating came in practice to create a certification system for all safety glasses. It is based on specific hazards encountered at the workplace, which includes impact, heat, dust, radiation, and chemical or liquid splash. Let's explore this in detail.
Z87 Impact Testing:
Z87 or Z87+ marking is the most common marking that you’ll see on your safety glasses. This is the standard set by ANSI for impact, which ensures that workers wearing safety eyewear with this marking will get required protection against impact hazards.
All the safety glasses are required to pass a basic ball drop test to achieve this Z87 standard. During the test, a steel ball of weighted around 2.4oz and with a diameter of one inch is dropped from test height of 50 inches. If the lens remains intact, it will get the Z87 marking.
What does the Z87+ marking mean? The "+" marking indicates that the eyewear can also resist higher impact. Safety glasses with Z87+ marking go through two main tests, one is mass impact test and the second is the high-velocity test.
The High Mass Test:
During this test, a 500-gram pointed weight is dropped on the lens from the height of 4.2 feet. If there is no sign of no breaking or fracturing of lens or frame, then the glasses will pass the test. This high mass test indicates that product has required strength to stimulate high impact such as slipping off a tool onto the lens.
The High-Velocity Test:
During this test, a ¼ inch steel is shot at different specified impact points. Depending on the safety eyewear, the speed and distance of the ball differ. Usually, the tiny ball is shot on the safety glasses at the speed of 102mph and on the safety goggles at 170mph.
The passing criteria for this test are the same as the high mass test. However, this test also determines that the eye of the worker won't contact the lens at the time of impact. Workers who perform tasks like grinding, chipping or machining are required to wear safety glasses with these safety standards.
Splash and Dust Protection:
Eyewear that meets the ANSI Z87.1 requirement for splash and dust protection will have a code "D" marked in the beginning. Let's see a different marking and their meaning.
D3: Eyewear that protects against splashes and droplets.
D4: Eyewear that protects against dust.
D5: Eyewear providing fine dust protection.
Liquid Splash Test:
Workers sometimes get confused about whether safety glasses are rated for a chemical splash. Such confusion occurs due to the outdated version of ANSI/ISEA 2010 standard, where the ANSI/ISEA called the test chemical splash test. But it is renamed with the "liquid splash test" in the updated Z87.1-2015 standard.
The liquid splash test involves using a sheet of reactive paper, which is placed on a head form under the goggles with circles drawn at the area where eyes would be, and then sprayed with a liquid. If the paper inside the circle changes color then it fails the test.
Protection against splash and dust:
Safety glasses are meant to protect eyes against dust, splash, and droplet hazards. If your safety glasses have a protective seal around the eyes, it will prevent chemicals, dust, liquid, etc. from entering the eyes. Ventilated goggles allow air circulation without compromising the protection against airborne particles, light, dust, or liquid.
Do all safety glasses have to be stamped Z87? The answer is yes, but with the addition of different codes marked for impact-resistant, splash and liquid-resistant, dust resistant, heat resistant, etc. If you are looking for the best safety glasses then browse through our safety glasses collection available at affordable price.