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 Encyclopedia - ANSI Z87.1

ANSI is the acronym for the American National Standards Institute, a nonprofit organization that serves as administrator of the United States private sector voluntary standardization system. The primary objective of ANSI is to promote and facilitate voluntary consensus standards and conformity assessment systems. ANSI does not have authority to enforce such standards, but their standards are used by Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) to be sure that certain safety devices, such as eyewear, provide adequate protection for workers.

The ANSI Z87.1 standard sets forth requirements for the design, construction, testing, and use of eye protection devices, including standards for impact and penetration resistance. All safety glasses, goggles, and face shields used by employees under OSHA jurisdiction must meet the ANSI Z87.1 standard. The eyewear standard includes the following minimum requirements:

  • Provide adequate protection against the hazards for which they are designed
  • Be reasonably comfortable
  • Fit securely, without interfering with movement or vision
  • Be capable of being disinfected if necessary, and be easy to clean
  • Be durable
  • Fit over, or incorporate, prescription eyewear

Many manufacturers of sports eyewear and other protective eyewear not used in a work environment also comply with the ANSI Z87.1 standard. If you need protective eyewear of any kind, look for products that comply with the ANSI standard or consult with an optometrist, ophthalmologist, or optician before purchasing.

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