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ASSE: ANSI Approves New Eye and Face Protection Standard

The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) announced June 23 in Denver that the updated Z87.1-2003, "Practice for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, was approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

ASSE serves as the secretariat for the Z87 Eye and Face Protection Committee.

The standard goes into effect in August.

"This is a significant development in occupational safety and health, especially since this standard has not been updated for 14 years," said Dan Torgerson, the vice committee chair of the ASSE Z87 Eye and Face Committee. "This should help decrease thenumber of eye and face injuries occurring today in the United States significantly."

The new standard addresses general requirements, descriptions and types, testing, marking, selection, care and use of personal eye and face protectors. The Z87.1 standard covers such eye and face hazards as impact, non-ionizing and chemical injuries in occupational and education environments, including and not limited to machinery operations, material welding and cutting, chemical handling and assembly operations.

The standard includes a new section on warning labels to ensure the eye and face protection equipment used meets the impact test requirements of the standard. It also includes general testing methods such as flammability, penetration, cleanability, haze and more.

The new standard also addresses NIOSH-approve respirators, from loose-fitting and tight-fitting for protection from impact hazards and eye irritants and welding for impact and optical radiation protection.

"This is a significant development for our members and for the occupational safety and health profession as a whole," said Torgerson.

The standard, available next month, can be purchased online at or by calling (847) 699-2929.

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