CSA Z94.3 safety eyewear standard explained [FAQ]

CSA Z94.3 safety eyewear standard explained [FAQ] header image

In North American safety, there are a couple of big standards to pay attention to when it comes to safety eyewear – ANSI Z87.1 in the United States and CSA Z94.3 in Canada.

Like ANSI Z87.1, the CSA Z94.3 standard addresses safety eyewear regulations that help ensure eye safety on the job.

Of these standards, one is not necessarily better than the other. But regardless of where you or your workers are wearing eye protection – whether in the U.S., Canada, or elsewhere – ensuring the safety eyewear being used complies with a standard like CSA or ANSI is essential to help mitigate injury.

Let’s dive into the main questions we hear about what CSA means for your safety eyewear in a typical industrial setting.

What is the CSA Z94.3 standard?

Updated in 2020, the CSA Z94.3 standard applies to eye and face protectors for all occupational and educational purposes involving hazards to the eyes or face.

Specifically, this standard defines the test methods and provides guidance on the selection, care, and use of said eye and face protectors, and addresses the following:

  • Classifies various eye and face protective devices
  • Test methods and criteria for each classification
  • Marking and user information

Additionally, the standard recommends protectors for typical hazards, including flying objects and particles, splashing liquids, molten metal, and ultraviolet, visible, and infrared radiation.

How do you select proper CSA eye and face protection?

If there is a risk for eye or face injuries at your worksite, appropriate protection should be provided and worn.

There are seven classifications of eye and face protective devices in the CSA standard to help you choose what’s best for your environment and application:

  1. Spectacles (glasses)
    1. Class 1A protective spectacles with side protection for impact
    2. Class 1B protective spectacles for impact and non-ionizing radiation protection with side protection
  2. Goggles
    1. Class 2A direct ventilated goggles for impact protection
    2. Class 2B non-ventilated and indirect ventilated goggles for impact, dust, and splash protection
    3. Class 2C with non-ionizing radiation protection and including Items a) and b)
    4. Class 2D with laser radiation protection and Items a) and b)
    5. Class 2E with electric arc protection as part of an acceptable ensemble (see CSA Z462) and items a) and b)
  3. Welding helmets
  4. Welding hand shields
  5. Hoods
    1. Hoods with an impact-resistant window
    2. Hoods for dust, splash, and abrasive materials protection
    3. Hoods with non-ionizing radiation protection
    4. Hoods for high-heat applications
    5. Hoods for electric arc protection
  6. Face shields
    1. Face shields for impact and splash protection
    2. Face shields for non-ionizing radiation protection
    3. Face shields for high-heat applications
    4. Face shields for electric arc protection
  7. Respirator facepieces
    1. For impact and splash protection
    2. For non-ionizing radiation protection
    3. With loose-fitting hoods or helmets
    4. With loose-fitting hoods or helmets for non-ionizing radiation protection

This is different than ANSI, which instead has a variety of optional tests that are designed for specific applications/settings.

CSA eye and face protection selection per hazard

If you want to select proper eye and face protection based on the nature of the hazard, follow the recommendations in the table here from the Canadian Center for Occupational Health and Safety.

At HexArmor®, we focus on general use or typical industrial safety eyewear in classes 1A, 2B, and 6A.

What are the testing requirements for safety glasses under CSA?

For any safety glasses to meet CSA safety standards, they must pass two main tests that are most referenced in relation to the ANSI standard: the Impact Resistance test and the Ignition Resistance test.

  1. Impact Resistance test:
    1. The test is simple. If the lens breaks, chips, shatters, or cracks, it fails.
    2. A 6mm steel ball weighing .88g at a speed of 50.5m/s or a 6.35mm steel ball weighing 1.04g at 46.5m/s is shot at the protector.
  2. Ignition Resistance test:
    1. A steel rod, 300mm long and 6mm in diameter with flat ends is heated to 650° C and then pressed against the protector for 5 seconds and then removed.
    2. The test is carried out on all exposed parts of the protector, and it cannot ignite or continue to glow after the removal of the steel rod.

Several additional tests are needed to certify to the standard, some of which include refractive power, resolving power, prismatic deviation, and transmittance. The full list can be found within the standard itself.

Note: CSA Z94.3 does not have testing requirements for dust and splash like ANSI Z87.1 Learn more about ANSI Z87.1 here.

How is safety eyewear labeled per CSA Z94.3.2020?

The manufacturer or supplier certification mark must be present on all approved safety lenses, frames (front and temple), removable side shields, and other parts of the glasses, goggles, or helmets.

To be considered “certified” to the CSA Group standard, the testing and evaluation must be done by CSA Group or in a testing lab that is qualified and audited routinely by CSA.

When a product “meets” CSA Group standards, CSA has not reviewed the testing data or certified the product. Instead, the testing has been conducted independently, and the test should be made available upon request.

Certified products must carry the mark of CSA, SEI, or any other certifying body that tests and certifies products to CSA as a third party on the lens or temple.

For safety eyewear that meets the CSA Z94.3 standard but has not been tested by an accredited lab qualified by a certifying body, you may only see "Z94.3" on the lens or temple.


For example, HexArmor® safety eyewear that has been certified to the standard will show the following:

  • “SEI Cert. Mod CSA Z94.3" on the individual product label
  • "SEI Z94.3" on the lens
  • “Z94.3” on the temple

Additionally, CSA Z94.3 does not include additional lens markings like EN166 (the European safety eyewear standard) and ANSI Z87.1.

HexArmor® can help

Even if you understand what all the markings mean, you still may need help selecting the right eyewear for your application.

Check with your safety manufacturer to see how your eyewear is being made, how it scores in the CSA Z94.3 testing, and what applications your safety eyewear is ideal for. HexArmor® can help with this.

Here are the CSA Z94.3 classes that apply to HexArmor® products:

  • Class 1A – Spectacles with side impact protection
  • Class 2B – Indirect ventilated goggles or impact, dust, and splash protection
  • Class 6A – Face shield for impact and splash protection

Learn more about our safety eyewear technology.

Let us know if you need help – our Solution Specialists are ready to work with you. Call 1.877.MY ARMOR or send us a message.

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