Head, Ear, and Eye Protection


ANSI/ISEA Z89.1:2014

American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) guidelines state that employees shall wear protective hard hats when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects. Protective hard hats designed to reduce electrical shock hazard shall be worn by each employee when near exposed electrical conductors which could contact the head.

The performance criteria for head protection is provided in the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1. American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection, updated in 2014.

TYPE I – Hard hats are designed only to withstand top impacts.

TYPE II – Hard hats designed to withstand impacts from the top and the side.

Class C – Conductive Hard Hat = the hard hat will not protect the wearer from electrical hazards.

Class G – General Hard Hat = hard hat that can withstand an electrical current up to 2,200 volts.

Class E – Electrical Hard Hat = hard hat that provides the highest level of electrical protection, withstanding currents up to 20,000 volts.

Hard hats classification and markings based on ANSI Z89.1: 2014

Ear Protection

ANSI (US American National Standards Institute)

S3.19 – 1974

This standard specifies the test method for determining the level of noise attenuation (NRR Noise Reduction Rating) of the hearing protection, as recommended by the EPA (U.S. Environmental Protection Agency) and in accordance with the Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA).

Noise Reduction Rating (NRR)

This is a unit of measurement used to determine the effectiveness of hearing protection devices to decrease sound exposure within a given working environment. Classified by their potential to reduce noise in decibels (dB).

Excessive noise is generally defined as exposure to 85 or more decibels of sound over an 8 hour period. According to OSHA, hearing protection is required for all employees at this degree of exposure. In all cases where the sound levels exceed the values shown below, a continuing, effective hearing conservation program should be implemented. Example: If a worker is exposed to 100dB in a 2 hour period, he is also required to wear hearing protection.

Requirements Directive 2003/10/EC:

The performance of the hearing protector (its attenuation level) must be adapted to the risk assessment of the workplace.

It should bring the noise level to a level that is not harmful to health while avoiding over-protection which would cut the operator from his environment (warnings, communication, etc).


ANSI/ISEA Z87.1:2015

American National Standard – Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices.

ANSI Z87.1 sets forth criteria related to the general requirements, testing, permanent marking, selection, care and use of protectors to minimize or prevent injuries from such hazards as impact, non-ionizing radiation, and chemical exposures in occupational and educational environments including, but not limited to, machinery operations, material welding and cutting, chemical handling, and assembly operations. The most recent update of ANSI Z87.1 was established in 2015. The new standard is focused on the hazards and is organized so that users can seek guidance by type of hazard, such as impact, optical radiation, splash, fine dust, and mist.

ANSI Z87.1:2015 markings

*= see tables below for more details on U marking (UV filters performances) and L marking (Visible Light Filters performances)

Transmittance requirements for Visible Light Filters:

Transmittance requirements for Ultraviolet Filters:

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