ANSI - American National Standards Institute
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Workplace Eye Safety Month Highlights Simple Steps

New York, Feb 03, 2005

Workplace eye injuries are a leading cause of eye trauma, vision loss, and blindness. An estimated 2,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace every day, but according to the American Academy of Ophthalmology, nearly 90 percent of all eye injuries could have been prevented by using the right kind of protective eyewear. The Academy has declared February Workplace Eye Safety Month, and issued a call to employers and employees alike to understand the potential causes of eye injuries and how to protect working Americans.

The Optical Laboratories Association (OLA) is an American National Standards Institute member that sponsors and administers ANSI-accredited Standards Committee Z80, Ophthalmics, which is responsible for writing all ANSI Z80 Standards for Ophthalmic Optics. ANSI Z87.1, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, sets forth criteria related to the description, general requirements, testing, marking, selection, care, and use of protectors to minimize or prevent injuries. Safety experts agree that eyewear used to protect against impact and splashes should conform to ANSI Z87.1, that employees should make sure this designation is marked on the lens or frame. Other basic precautions include the following:

  • Protective eyewear should include side protection unless there is no possible chance of injury from side impact, splashes, or sparks.
  • Always put on protective eyewear before entering an area where hazards may be present.
  • Eye protection must fit properly and comfortably, including when worn over prescription glasses.
  • Eyewear should always be checked for damage and replaced if there is any defect.
  • When there is doubt, assume that eye hazards are present.

 Homeland Defense and Security Standardization Collaborative