What mark appears on the frame of industrial-certified safety glasses?


Understanding the markings on your safety glasses will help you know what your glasses protect you from. Markings can feel overwhelming when it comes to industrial quality safety glasses. However, it’s crucial for both personal and professional safety. Let’s break this down into easy-to-understand pieces, ensuring you can make an informed choice about your eye protection.

Different Types of Ratings

Safety glasses are primarily evaluated based on their ability to withstand impact, optical clarity, and sometimes their resistance to chemicals or radiation. The most common standards you’ll encounter are set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the European Committee for Standardization (EN).

ANSI Z87.1

This is a prevalent standard in the United States. Glasses that meet or exceed this standard are marked with “Z87” (standard impact) or “Z87+” (high impact) on the frame or lens. The “+” indicates a higher level of protection against high-velocity impacts.

EN 166

This European standard is similar to ANSI’s, with ratings for basic (S), increased (F), high (B), and very high (A) energy impacts. Frames and lenses meeting this standard will have “EN 166” followed by a letter indicating the level of protection.

Military Ballistic Standards

Some glasses meet military ballistic standards for highly hazardous environments, offering even higher levels of impact protection. These are often marked with “MIL-PRF-31013” for spectacles or “MIL-DTL-43511D” for goggles, indicating compliance with military specifications.


Markings on Frames

On the frame of industrial quality safety glasses, the markings provide a quick reference to the level of protection offered. For ANSI Z87.1 compliant glasses, look for:


Indicates basic impact resistance. Suitable for general protection against flying debris and particles.


Signifies high-impact resistance. These are recommended for high-risk environments where high-speed particles or objects pose a threat.

Lens Markings

Besides the frame, lenses might also have markings indicating additional protections, such as “U” for UV protection, “L” for light filtering, or “W” for welding applications.

Understanding the Ratings – Simplified

Basic Impact (Z87)

These glasses are your standard safety glasses. They’ll protect your eyes from dust, debris, and low-speed impacts — ideal for most shop work or general construction.

High Impact (Z87+)

These are your heavy-duty protectors. If you’re working with power tools, heavy machinery, or in environments where high-speed particles are a concern, these are your go-to.

EN Standards

For those in Europe, EN 166 provides a similar tier of protection, from basic to very high energy impacts. The specific letter marking (S, F, B, A) will guide you to the right choice based on your risk level.

Military Standards

For the ultimate protection, especially in tactical or extreme industrial environments, look for military-grade markings. Designed to withstand ballistic impacts, often used by law enforcement and military personnel.

Safety Eyewear Standards:
ANSI vs. EN166 Explained

Watch Video

In conclusion, understanding the markings on your safety glasses can make a huge difference in ensuring eye protection. Whether you’re in a low-risk environment requiring basic impact protection or a high-risk area where high impact resistance is necessary, there’s a pair of safety glasses designed to meet your needs. When selecting your next pair of industrial-quality safety glasses, always look for these crucial markings to ensure your eyes are well-protected against potential hazards.


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