This paper provides an overview of the recently approved revision of the Z87.1 Standard and key aspects of the revision.

As most understand, many workplaces in America contain hazards and exposures that could cause injury to a person's eyes and/or face. Of particular interest to safety, health and environmental (SH&E) professionals is that some of these hazards and exposures may not be as readily observed as the general public may think. Due to advances in science and technology, a whole series of eye and face protection products have been developed to assist employers in providing employees with a safe and healthful working environment

It is important to begin by pointing out that an American National Standard (ANS) is a voluntary national consensus standard. This means that its use is not required unless it is cited by reference by a national, state or local government agency. However, if an interested party uses the standard, all sections of the standards are required. In other words, the use of the standard is voluntary, but if it is used, all of its required sections shall be implemented.

This presentation will focus on the Z87.1 Standard and how it can be used to create eye and face protection. It is not the intent of this presentation to offer a readymade or "canned" program that can be implemented. SH&E professionals can easily find such programs through various avenues, but that is not the intention of the Z87 Committee.

In addition, the standard and this presentation are not intended to address compliance and eye and face protection issues under OSHA. It should be noted, however, that the standard has and continues to receive active attention from government agencies. One can read letters of interpretation currently published on the OSHA website that illustrates how voluntary national consensus standards such as Z87.1 have been used in compliance related matters. The Z87 ANS committee plans to contact OSHA and other federal and state agencies to advocate enhanced recognition of the standard in order to prevent eye and face industries. For those interested in more information, the URLs listed below contain documents that further indicate how the Z87 standard relates to government (OSHA) standards:

  • The link below indicates how OSHA has historically viewed the Z87.1 standards in regards to products used in the workplace.

http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=10269

  • The link below addresses OSHA recognition of Z87.1 in its different advisory publications.

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/logging_advisor/manual/logger/eye_face/eye_face.html

  • The link below is an example of OSHA recognition of the Z87.1 standard in its electronic "E-Tools" System.

http://www.osha.gov/SLTC/etools/eyeandface/faqs.html

  • The link below is an example of EPA use of the Z87.1 Standard:

http://www.epa.gov/projctxl/nelabs/chaptere.pdf

  • The link below is a good example of how the Z87.1 Standard is recognized by CDC/NIOSH and how the standard is used in their publications:

http://www.cdc.gov/niosh/eyesafe.html

  • The link below is a good example of how the Z87.1 Standard is recognized by The U.S. Department of Energy and how the standard is used in their publications:

http://tis.eh.doe.gov/docs/osh_tr/ch25.html

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