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Eye and Face Protection Guide

Choosing the Right Eye & Face Protectors

ANSI Z87.1-2010

Help protect yourself by choosing safety glasses that comply with the most recent ANSI standard.


The American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010 standard focuses on hazards and is organized by the nature of each hazard: impact, heat, chemicals, dust and optical radiation. This focus encourages users to evaluate the specific hazards they are exposed to and select appropriate protection based on that evaluation. Products are either non-impact or impact protectors. In addition to the manufacturer's monogram, Z87 marking and impact marking, manufacturers must add lens type (welding, UV filter, visible light filter, IR filter, variable tint and special purpose) and use (protection against splash droplet, dust and fine dust) markings when claims of impact rating, specific lens type and/or use are made.


Challenges Faced by Workers Wearing Eye Protection


Lens Coatings

Help enhance the versatility and life span of eye protection by using eyewear with lens coatings available separately or in combination with others for enhanced functionality.


Anti-fog coating is designed to help reduce fogging in cold-to-warm temperature transitions and high humidity environments.

Scratch-resistant coating is designed to protect and extend the lens life when used in abrasive environments where scratches are possible.

Anti-static coating reduces dust and particulate attraction to the lens.

Hard coating is permanently bonded to lens to extend lens life.

Anti-UV coating absorbs more than 99.9% of harmful ultraviolet radiation.


Lens Color Guide

This handy guide will help you understand the functionality of task-specific lenses and to determine what color or tint may be best for your application and environment. A good rule of thumb is to choose a lens base on color opposites. For example, blue is opposite of yellow and red is opposite of green. So, red lenses absorb green light and yellow lenses absorb blue/ultraviolet light and vice versa.

Clear Lens

Provides excellent optics for general indoor applications where impact protection is required.

Gray Lens

For outdoor applications where light and glare can cause eyestrain and fatigue.

Indoor/Outdoor Lens

A clear lens with a slight mirror coating serves the same purpose as the gray lens, yet allows more visible light through the lens for indoor/outdoor use. Reduces glare from artificial light.

Gold, Blue & Silver Mirror Lens

Gold, blue & silver mirror
Use outdoor where sunlight and glare cause eyestrain and fatigue. Mirror coating reflects light, reducing the amount of light that passes through the lens.

Brown Lens

For outdoor applications where sunlight and glare cause eyestrain and fatigue. Most suppliers’ brown/espresso lenses meet color traffic signal recognition requirements.

Vermilion Lens

Enhances contrast while reducing all color equally for optimum color recognition. Ideal for indoor inspection.

Amber Lens

Blocks the blue portion of the visible light spectrum, creating maximum contrast enhancement, particularly in low light.

Filter shades
Protection from optical radiation is directly related to filer lens density. Rule of thumb is to always select the darkest shade that allows adequate task performance.

Shades 1.5–3Shades 1.5-3
Torch soldering

Shades 3–4Shades 3-4
Torch brazing

Shades 3–6Shades 3-6

Shades 4–8Shades 4-8
Gas welding

Shades 10–14Shades 10-14
Electric arc welding



Hazard Assessment


Eye and Face Protection Selection Chart

Hazard Type Common Related Tasks Protectors
Impact: Flying objects such as large chips, fragments, particles, sand and dirt Chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, riveting and sanding Safety glasses with side protection

Goggles with direct or indirect ventilation

Faceshield worn over safety glasses or goggles

Welding helmet
Heat: Hot sparks, splash from molten metal and high-temperature exposure Furnace operations, pouring, casting,
hot dipping, gas cutting and welding
Safety glasses with side protection

Goggles with direct or indirect ventilation

Faceshield worn over safety glasses or goggles

Full-facepiece respirator

Loose-fitting respirator worn over safety glasses

Screen faceshield over safety glasses or goggles

Reflective faceshield over safety glasses or goggles
Chemicals: Splash and irritating mists Chemical handling,
degreasing and plating
Goggles with indirect ventilation (eyecup or cover type)

Faceshield worn over safety glasses or goggles

Full-facepiece respirator
Dust: Nuisance Woodworking, buffing and
general dusty conditions
Goggles with direct or indirect ventilation (eyecup or cover type)

Full-facepiece respirator
Optical Radiation Welding, viewing electric arc or
gas-fired furnaces and boilers,
cutting, torch brazing, torch
soldering and glare
Welding helmet over safety glasses or goggles

Handshield over safety glasses or goggles

Welding goggles

Welding faceshield over safety glasses or goggles

Welding respirator

Safety glasses – shade or special purpose lenses

Safety glasses with or without side protection – shade or special purpose lenses

Do You Need Safety Reading Glasses?


Why Safety Reading Glasses?
According to the 2010 U.S. Census, there are over 81 million Americans in the age bracket 45 to 64 years of age. Most of these individuals will require reading glasses. A large proportion of them will need reading glasses in combination with protective safety glasses. Grainger can help you meet that need for your employees.

Save Your Company Money
Approximately 75 million pairs of plano (nonprescription) safety glasses are sold each year in the U.S. About 10% of all safety glass users require bifocal safety glasses and a pair of prescription bifocal safety glasses typically cost about $150. Help save your company and employees money by offering them safety reading glasses.

Calculate Your Savings
Grainger offers safety reading glasses at an average of about $20 a pair. That’s a potential $130 savings per employee. If you have 500 workers, approximately 10% or about 50 employees could potentially require safety reading glasses. If you calculate your savings, that’s about $6500!

It’s Easy to Find Your Work Sight Diopter Strength
Click here for your diopter chart. Print the chart and follow the instructions to help you find the diopter strength you need.


Eye and Face Protection Device Definitions in ANSI Z87.1-2010


Faceshield A protector commonly intended to, when used in conjunction with safety glasses and/or goggles, shield the wearer’s face, or portions thereof, in addition to the eyes, from certain hazards, depending on faceshield type.

Full-facepiece respirator — A tight fitting respirator that covers the nose, mouth and eyes from approximately the hairline to below the chin.

Goggle — A protector intended to fit the face surrounding the eyes in order to help shield the eyes from certain hazards, depending upon goggle type. Available non-vented or with direct or indirect vents.

Handshield — A hand-held welding helmet.

Impact resistance — The ability of safety eyewear to withstand impact when tested according to ANSI requirements.

Infrared radiation — Electromagnetic energy with wavelengths from 780 to 2000 nanometers (nm).

Loose-fitting respirator — A respiratory inlet covering that is designed to form a partial seal with the face, or that completely covers the head and neck, and may cover portions of the shoulder.

Luminous transmittance — The fraction of light (380 to 780nm) passing through a medium.

Nanometer (nm) — A unit of measurement of wavelength equal to one billionth of a meter, 10-9 meter.

Optical radiation — The part of the electromagnetic spectrum with wavelengths between 200 and 2000nm.

Protector — A complete device meeting, at a minimum, the requirements of Section 5 of ANSI Z87.1-2010.

Sideshield A permanent or detachable part of a spectacle that provides side impact resistance that may be an original or aftermarket component. Aftermarket sideshields must be tested on representative frames for which the product is specified to fit.

Spectacle — A protector intended to shield the wearer's eyes from certain hazards, depending on the spectacle type.

Ultraviolet radiation — Electromagnetic energy with wavelengths from 200 to 380nm.

Welding faceshield — A faceshield intended for limited welding applications.

Welding goggle — A goggle intended for limited welding applications.

Welding helmet A faceshield-type device intended to provide protection specifically to the eyes and against optical radiation and weld splatter.

Welding respirator — A respirator intended to provide optical radiation protection for welding operations.


29 CFR 1910.132, General Requirements.

29 CFR 1910.133, Eye and Face Protection.

American National Standard Institute (ANSI) / ANSI Z87.1-2010
11 W. 42nd St.
New York, NY 10036
(212) 642-4900

Prevent Blindness America
211 West Wacker Drive Suite 1700 Chicago, IL 60606

Quick Tips Technical Resources

No. 109 Welding Safety

No. 125 Choosing Protective Eyewear

No. 315 Safety Goggles: Types, Uses and Cleaning

No. 329 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) Size Charts

No. 373 Face Shield Protection

No. 376 Eyewear Lens Type Selection



Find even more information you can use to help make informed decisions about the regulatory issues you face in your workplace every day. View all Quick Tips Technical Resources at

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Please Note:
The information contained in this publication is intended for general information purposes only. This publication is not a substitute for review of the applicable government regulations and standards, and should not be construed as legal advice or opinion. Readers with specific questions should refer to the cited regulation or consult with an attorney.

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