Last month, the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) published a new version of Z94.3, the standard for eye and face protectors. The previous edition was published in 2015. This document specifies performance requirements and test methods for plano and prescription spectacles, goggles, welding helmets, face shields, hoods and the face piece components of integrated respiratory protective devices. Z94.3 is the primary standard for protective eyewear worn in occupational and educational settings in Canada.
This newest edition makes multiple changes from the last iteration. Requirements for area of coverage have been altered. For example, stipulated side protection dimensions have been reduced to align with the EN 166 standard. Revisions have been made to the requirements relating auto-darkening welding filters (ADFs) Notably, the test methods used to evaluate resistance to flame/thermal hazards have changed. Z94.3-2015 and prior versions included both a flammability test, which exposed eyewear to an open flame, and an ignition test, wherein protective devices make measured contact with a heated metal rod. The new 2020 standard contains only the ignition test. Beyond these changes, there are many nuanced edits and revisions in the recently published document related to test practice and requirements for product markings, warnings, and labels. Clarification has been added to test clauses and additional guidance has been included to aid consumers and safety professionals.
ICS Laboratories has been testing eye and face protective equipment to the Z94.3 for decades and is currently accredited to test to the new 2020 standard. Our technical staff participate in standards development activities for a myriad of worldwide test methods and performance requirements as they relate to various categories of PPE and this document is no exception. Our resident optical experts have closely followed the development of this revision, making our team prepared to test to the new document as soon as it was formally released. If Canada is an end market for your eye and face protection products, get in touch with us to set up an assessment to this newest edition of the authoritative CSA eyewear standard.