Home > Eye Protection, General > ANSI Z87 and Z87+… What’s the difference?

ANSI Z87 and Z87+… What’s the difference?

No, that little number Z87 on the inside of the arm of your safety glasses is not the part number (We get at least 2 or 3 calls a month from customers who give us the Z87 number, believing it to be the part number of the glasses that they are holding), it’s the number that lets you know that the glasses you are holding are rated and pass the Z87 standard from ANSI for eye protection.

You may have noticed, however, that recently the Z87 sometimes has a little “+” sign after it. What does that mean?

Since 2003, the ANSI Standard for eye protection began adding a new rating, or rather dividing the standard in two: high impact (Z87+) and basic impact (Z87).

Z87+ or High impact standard glasses must pass a much more stringent set of tests than the basic or Z87 impact standard.

Z87+ glasses must pass the “high mass” test which consists of dropping a 500 gram pointed weight from a height of about 5 feet onto the lens. It also must pass the test of having a ¼” steel ball shot at the lens. The velocity varies which the product (glasses = 102 mph from a distance of 150′, goggles = 170 mph from a distance of 250′ and 205 mph from a distance of 300ft).

The bottom line is that the high impact standard (the Z87+) offers much better protection. If you are going to wear eye protection it may certainly be worth your while to get the added protection.

  1. Steve
    January 5, 2012 at 11:59 am

    What is the OSHA requirement or recommendation for safety gasses worn by tree trimmers over prescription glasses?

  2. deb
    January 26, 2012 at 3:47 pm

    are nemesis ANSI Z87.1+ OSHA approved glasses?

  3. January 26, 2012 at 6:02 pm

    Steve… there are no specific requirements specific to tree trimmers. As long as the glasses are ANSI certified and the prescription glasses aren’t glass lenses, you’re fine.

    Deb… Yes, if an OSHA inspector comes through your facility he’s going to be looking for the ANSI marking on the safety glasses. OSHA doesn’t set the standard, ANSI does so OSHA looks for the ANSI approval.

  4. Anonymous
    September 26, 2012 at 5:53 am

    ” The velocity varies which the product (glasses = 102 mph from a distance of 150′, goggles = 170 mph from a distance of 250′ and 205 mph from a distance of 300ft).”

    What difference does it make how far away the projectile is, when it’s fired? All that matters is the IMPACT speed. You could fire Projectile A from 50 light years away and Projectile B from 1 inch away, and if both projectiles are traveling at the same speed when they hit the test material, that’s all that matters.

    • Anonymous
      February 17, 2015 at 7:02 pm

      seriously??

  5. G
    January 14, 2015 at 2:03 pm

    “Anonymous” asked:

    “What difference does it make how far away the projectile is, when it’s fired? All that matters is the IMPACT speed. You could fire Projectile A from 50 light years away and Projectile B from 1 inch away, and if both projectiles are traveling at the same speed when they hit the test material, that’s all that matters.”

    My response:
    “What difference does it make?” -You sound like Hillary Clinton.

    Projectile speed will be effected by the distance traveled. After a projectile leaves the device propelling it, unless its in a vacuum, many environmental factors (like air), will begin to slow it down. So in a test, the distance needs to be noted so the test is repeatable. Unless the projectile was self propelled (like a rocket) the distance is a factor.

    G

    • Anonymous
      May 1, 2015 at 2:00 pm

      I think that was the point of Anons post. The only factor that matters is the velocity of the object ‘at the point of impact’. Oh, and that’s ‘Future Madam President Clinton’ to you. ;)

  6. Fyl
    May 9, 2015 at 9:51 am

    vague, indeed.

    also no mention of effects of “doubling up”… wearing a z87.1+ faceshield over z87.1+ goggles, what’s the cumulative eye protection like if the face shield is penetrated, and what would it take to punch thru BOTH???

    and yeah i know such penetration is likely to shred the rest of my face real nice n thorough, but hey, better ugly and sighted than blind disabled or dead.

    also, i seem to be noticing a pattern where they INTENTIONALLY dont draw parallels between industrial gear and armor, but then they turn around and approve the high impacts for archery and gunnery ranges…is that just for stray ricocheting debris, or would doubled up z87.1+ HI facedhield and goggles offer some protection from, say, a facefull of buckshot? a modern hunting crossbow or compound bow? an air rifle? even more, like light caliber ammo at range, or even less? — and would all that only have a chance of working where doubled up in the eye area, not at all, or in some cases could the faceshield alone do the trick?

    what about a 25000rpm HSS or carbide router bit flying out of its collet???

  7. Anonymous
    August 22, 2015 at 1:12 pm

    So are these glasses: NSN# 4240-01-516-5361 safe to use for airsoft games? So I don’t need to worry about that a bb-“bullet” will break the glass and damage my eyes.
    Thankful for anwsers :)
    Kind regards.

    • August 22, 2015 at 2:53 pm

      1, You should, of course, always use eye protection when playing with airsoft guns.
      2. These glasses have the highest rating so they are the absolute best protection you get buy.
      3. Players should, nevertheless, NEVER aim at the head.
      Hope that helps!

  1. August 27, 2015 at 11:15 am

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