While there are hundreds of makes, models, and options for
safety eyewear today, the most important feature is still the
OSHA-approved ANSI Z87.1 Eye and Face Protection Standard.
These standards require the employer to provide eyewear in every
situation where “eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten
metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or
vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation” present a threat.
Even without these statistics, a trip to the National Safety Council’s show in early October emphasized just how important safety
eyewear is in the industrial marketplace. Thousands of pairs of
glasses peered out at show attendees, begging the question: what
are the must-haves for the eyeglass industry?
Here are the highlights:
• In addition to making eyewear available to workers, and hav-
ing policies in place to make sure they wear the eyewear, the CDC
recommends that all managers make sure that the eye protection
workers are using is in good condition and that it fits workers
properly and stays in place.
• Joe Nadler, President and Owner of ARMOURx, a safety
eyeglass provider, emphasizes choosing a “Third Party Tested”
product to ensure that you are dealing with a fully compliant
eyewear provider. “You should be offering style, comfort, and
reliability,” says Nadler. If it is not comfortable, workers will be lax
about wearing it.
• Wrap-around sunglass-style protective eyewear has become a
big trend, replacing the somewhat outdated side shields that can
come apart — and that often offer less protection. The shields are
built into the frame, offering built-in protection for the worker
and their eyes.
• Another style on the rise is the “full-seal” fitting eyewear that
is becoming more popular in the industry. These glasses provide
a seal between the frame and the users skin, protecting the eye
more fully against potential liquid and dust contact, and are
required more and more on jobsites where chemical hazards and
the potential for splashing occurs.
• Make sure you have the right gear for the job. Does the task
include arc welding or soldering? If so, make sure you know the
minimum protective shade necessary and equip all workers properly based on the individual application.
• Lastly, distributors should “strive to carry compliant and
wearable eye protection that industrial consumers really want to
wear,” says Nadler. Making compliance easy is just one step in the
For more information, and for a full list of job-dependent safety
eyewear specifications, visit www.osha.gov.
An Eye On Safety
A look at what’s trending in safety eyewear.