Revision of ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 – Eye and Face Protection Devices

There is significance to the human face that is universally noticed. The face contains a variety of features, all of which we care about greatly. This is because we have the ability to learn many different things from other people by simply looking at their face, such as identifying personalities, emotions, and even health issues. This is something unique to primates and perfected in humans. We can sense the direction where other people are looking by observing the whites of their eyes, and we can deduce another’s feelings and thoughts by the movement of their cheeks and lips. Some work activities can be harmful to our faces, damaging our ability to project our emotional status to be read by others. Potential threats span from eye and skin exposure from ultraviolet radiation to direct impact by foreign objects, debris or chemicals.

ANSI/ISEA Z87.1: American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices has recently been revised. This is a performance-oriented standard that is intended to eliminate eye and face hazards in occupational and educational settings. To accomplish this objective, the standard provides recommended guidelines for selection, use, and maintenance of the different face and eye protectors to promote the most effective materials and methods of use. This standard should be applied when the equipment is first placed in service, so that any applicable protectors will be stamped with the marking “Z87” to demonstrate that the meet the minimum guidelines laid out in the standard. Examples of these apparatuses include face shields and chin protectors.
The 2015 version of this standard is the first revision to be released since 2010. The 2010 revision was monumental, due to a shift towards being more hazard-based as opposed to the original product configuration requirements of the standard. The newly-released version serves to polish these changes, completing what was started in the previous edition. It also addressed issues related to the emergence of new technologies that were not previously covered in ANSI/ISEA Z87.1. For example, protectors known as “magnifiers” and “readers” that have lenses with magnifying properties are now incorporated in the standard.

According to the CDC, approximately 2000 eye injuries occur every day at workplaces in the United States. Proper face and eye protection reduce workplace injuries and permit safe operation in potentially dangerous endeavors. ANSI/ISEA Z87.1 protects the human face in these environments while remaining an up-to-date guideline by acknowledging any significant changes in the eye and face protector industry.

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