The American National Standards Institute approves requirements for safety glasses and other personal protective equipment. ANSI prescription safety glasses are tested for durability in the event of an impact and may be rated to prevent other risks. The Z87.1 standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices applies to corrective safety eyewear.
Eye Protection Ratings
ANSI assigns eyewear safety ratings based on performance during testing. Prescription safety glasses that withstand impact from a steel ball one inch in diameter that weighs approximately 2.4 ounces falling from a height of 50 inches satisfy requirements for the Z87 standard. Any applicable standards are indicated in markings on the frames and lenses of safety eyewear.
Safety glasses that have a Z87+ rating have undergone and passed high mass and high-velocity tests. A high mass test involves dropping a pointed weight that is slightly over one pound on glasses mounted on a head form from a height of about 50 inches. A steel ball that measures a quarter-inch in diameter is shot at 20 impact points on eyewear at over 100 miles per hour during high-velocity testing.
Stylish Safety Glasses
The primary purpose of safety glasses is eye protection, but these frames and lenses can also be flattering. Frame materials range from plastic to metal and a large selection of shapes and colors is available. Choose from many styles when selecting ANSI prescription safety glasses that are compatible with the necessary lens diopters and protection standards.
Shop Z87 frames and lenses from brands such as 3M, Hudson Optical, Global Vision, OnGuard and Uvex. When considering frames, check the measurements to achieve the best fit and clearest vision. Wraparound frames may not be the best option for strong prescriptions, as the profile of these glasses can cause distortion. Many frame shapes are available, as are designed with features such as side shields that can block lateral impact hazards.
ANSI Prescription Safety Glasses FAQs
What is ANSI?
The American National Standards Institute is a private non-profit organization that oversees and grants accreditation to standards committees and projects. These conformity standards are voluntary and must be updated at least every five years to remain current. ANSI represents the United States in the International Organization for Standardization or ISO.
How does eyewear meet the ANSI Z87 standard?
ANSI Z87.1 prescription safety glasses must pass an impact test. Eyewear that meets this standard may also protect eyes from droplets or splashes and dust. A D3 marking indicates protection from droplets and splashes. Eyewear rated D4 protects eyes from dust, and a D5 rating is for fine dust.
What do the other markings on eyewear and lenses mean?
In addition to the Z87, Z87+ and D ratings, safety eyewear may have other markings. Markings of W, U, R, L, V or S indicate protection from different types of optical radiation. Impact-rated ANSI prescription safety glasses may be marked with Z87-2+ on the frame and a plus symbol on lenses.
How does ANSI Z87.1 compare to other safety standards?
The ANSI Z87.1 standard is referenced in the 29 CFR 1910.133(b)(2) federal standard set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration in the United States. The Z87.1 standard also overlaps with the International Safety Equipment Association Standard. The European personal eye protection standard is EN 166.
How can you tell if frames are right for your prescription?
The best way to determine whether frames are a good match with your prescription is to check the base curve. Some wraparound frame styles can cause distortion when paired with a powerful prescription. Many Z87 prescription safety glasses are compatible with a wide range of diopters, including high RX lenses.