Personal protective equipment (PPE), particularly safety glasses and other eye protector products, play a crucial role in safeguarding against a myriad of potential hazards in nearly every manufacturing industry. The significance of comprehensive quality control and lab testing for these essential eye protection items cannot be overstated. Even the smallest failure in these products can lead to dangerous exposure, severe injuries, or permanent vision loss. This article emphasizes the importance of lab testing and reviews how lab testing helps brands ensure the compliance and effectiveness of eye and face protectors.
Personal eye and face protectors fall into the category of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) as per European Regulation (EU) 2016/425. These protectors are classified into different categories based on their design and intended use. Some common eye and face protective products include:
Safety Glasses: Available in various types, including mounting with clear lenses, tinted lenses, and prescription lenses.
Safety Goggles: Designed to be impact-resistant, splash-resistant, anti-fogging, and dust-proof.
Overspecs and Face Shields: Designed to provide additional protection over regular prescription glasses.
Welding Goggles: Specifically designed for welders to shield their eyes from intense light.
In today's fast-paced workplaces, employees are exposed to an array of potential hazards that can pose serious risks to their eyes and overall safety. Among these dangers are chemical splashes, flying debris, excessive dust, glare, harmful UV radiation, and even biohazards. Whether in industrial settings, construction sites, laboratories, or healthcare facilities, workers often find themselves navigating through challenging environments where the importance of eye protection is paramount.
Eye protection may also be necessary for certain recreational activities, such as sports or motorcycling.
Lab testing of safety glasses and other similar PPE ensures that this protective equipment effectively shields wearers from potential hazards, preventing serious eye or face injuries and vision loss. Rigorous lab testing guarantees the high quality and reliability of these products, assuring users that they can trust their protective gear in critical situations.
Additionally, lab testing ensures that safety goggles and eye protectors comply with regulatory and international standards. International standards related to eye protectors include:
EN 166(To be replaced by ISO 16321-1/2/3 in Nov 2024): Specifies requirements for protective eyewear, ensuring they offer optical properties, mechanical strength, and protection against various risks.
EN 1731: Pertains to personal eye protection, specifically mesh eye and face protectors used in activities like forestry or brush cutting.
EN 1938: Covers goggles designed for motorcycle and moped users, ensuring their optical performance and resistance against various hazards.
ISO 18527-1: Covers products intended for eye protection against hazards including ultraviolet and visible solar radiation, rain, snow and wind, and downhill skiing, snowboarding and other similar activities.
ISO 18527-3: Covers eyewear intended for surface swimming (eyewear that is suitable for surface use and shallow diving only).
USA & Canada:
ANSI/ISEA Z87.1: The American National Standard Institute standard for eye and face protection, establishing criteria for impact resistance and optical quality.
CSA Z94.3: Canadian standard for eye and face protectors, setting requirements for various protective equipment types.
AS/NZS 1337.1: Australian and New Zealand Standard for eye and face protection, outlining the general requirements for various protective gear.
AS/NZS 1337.6: Specific to eye protectors mounted with prescription lenses used in occupational and educational settings, ensuring their safety and effectiveness.
GB 14866: Chinese standard for eye and face protection devices, focusing on general safety requirements.
GB 32166.1: Chinese standard for personal eye protectors, specifying various performance requirements.
JIS T 8141: Japanese Industrial Standard for eye and face protection in occupational settings, defining general safety requirements.
JIS T 8147: Japanese Industrial Standard for eye protectors used in sports, ensuring their safety and performance during recreational activities.
Comprehensive lab testing is essential to ensure the reliability and compliance of safety glasses and other eye protectors. Reputable testing laboratories like QIMA adhere to ISO/IEC 17025 standards and offer various tests to assess mechanical, optical, and chemical characteristics. These tests include, but are not limited to:
Impact Resistance: Evaluating the protector's ability to withstand high-velocity and high-mass impacts and drop-ball impacts.
Resistance to Chemical Splashes: Ensuring the eyewear’s ability to withstand a variety of chemicals to protect against hazardous chemicals in the workplace.
Optical Clarity: Assessing the optical power and resolving power of protectors with non-prescription lenses.
UV Filter Testing: Verifying the protector's capability to shield against harmful UV radiation.
Anti-Fog Tests: Ensuring clear vision in challenging environments.
Thermal Stability: Evaluating the protector's resilience in extreme temperature conditions.
Resistance to Corrosion: Ensuring durability against corrosive substances.
Luminous Transmittance: Testing sun glare-filtering properties for different environments.
These are not the only types of testing that the standards of your destination market may require. It’s important to tailor your testing protocols to your unique needs and market location. When ordering testing for safety glasses or other protective eyewear from QIMA, you can expect to work with our laboratory experts to design a testing procedure specific to you.
Eye and face protectors play a vital role in protecting workers and individuals from potential hazards in various environments. To ensure their effectiveness and adherence to international safety standards, comprehensive lab testing is a must. QIMA offers high-quality lab testing for different types of eyewear, including safety goggles and other eye and face protectors,to help you prioritize safety, reduce noncompliance risks, and safeguard vision.