Changes to Australian Standard AS/NZS 1337

Changes to Australian Standard AS/NZS 1337 – prescription safety glasses

Part 6: Prescription eye protectors against low and medium impact

Thanks to Ron Greenwood for sending in this article:

The AS/NZS 1337.6:2007: ‘Personal eye protection – Prescription eye protectors against low and medium impact’ has defined new standards for prescription safety glasses.  Changes to the Australian Standard AS/NZS 1337.6 offers solutions to industrial eye safety needs, which previously could not be achieved. Prior to the changes to Australian Standard AS/NZS 1337.6, prescription safety glasses could only be legally manufactured to low impact standards. So for those who are visually impaired who required MEDIUM impact protection they could only wear special prescription inserts under their goggles or wear safety ‘over spectacles’ on top of their normal prescription glasses. By the way, to-date I have not been able to confirm and am not convinced that there is any such thing as an ‘over spectacle’ that has been tested in accordance with Australian Standard requirements. 

Whatever, both methods resorted to by industry have resulted in problems such as fogging, restricted vision and restricted movements, uncomfortable wear and not to mention and unsightly look – all of which resulted in decreased wearing compliance by employees. Changes to the Australian Standard now mean that Prescription safety glasses must now be compliant with the new MEDIUM IMPACT requirements. Key changes to the safety glasses standard:

  • No glass lenses – even if hardened – are going to meet the new standard.
  • The frames, not just the lenses, must also meet certain requirements.  Because of the cost of compliance testing, it is unlikely that many fashion frames will be labelled as meeting safety glass standards.
  • Both the lenses and the frame will have indicators on them to enable safety authorities to check that any spectacles worn comply with impact protection standards.  

Each industrial prescription safety glasses manufactured by the certified manufacturer will carry a number of specific markings on the lens and frames and a certificate with the manufacturers license number for tracking if required.  To understand the new markings please see the attachment to this email in the form of a checklist published by SAI GLOBAL. This means that safety glasses for work will almost certainly be a separate set of spectacles to your own personal pair. (Unless of course you like walking around town with side-shields on your glasses!) Certification Requirements:

The change to Australian Standard AS/NZS 1337.6 now essentially requires manufacturers of prescription safety glasses to be licensed.   This is a great benefit to employees as end users (as it will ensure higher quality products for better protection) and to employers as all products will be traceable to the manufacturer. If workers require corrective vision for reading only, OPTX Australasia can offer a very economical alternative with the use of our OPTX 20/20 HydroTac Lenses that can turn any Safety Glasses into reading glasses……  The lenses work on mono-goggles and even welding face shields too! Visit our website for more information and find out how we can save employers $100’s or even $1000’s while still fulfilling their Duty Of Care obligations!

As a final note, we must encourage you to visit your local Optometrist or Ophthalmologist on a regular basis if you are over 40 years old

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