Wie sicher ist sicher – Prüfverfahren bei uvex

How safe is safe? Behind the scenes at the testing laboratory in Ellefeld – part 2

Personal protective equipment should be one thing above all else: safe. However, how can we guarantee that uvex products actually fulfil the necessary safety criteria? By conducting extensive tests on the material.

Over the past few years we have continually expanded our textile testing laboratory at UVEX SAFETY Textiles in Ellefeld. In part 1 of this blog series you can gain an initial insight into our test equipment – now we also have equipment for testing flame protection in accordance with EN ISO 15025 and a blade cut tester to determine cut resistance in accordance with EN 388.

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uvex sportstyle-antireflet

Anti-reflective safety spectacle lenses as the solution to challenging light conditions

Safety spectacle lenses are usually coated to prevent fogging and/or scratching. An anti-fog coating is especially important for high humidity environments or physically demanding work, such as in the paper or food industries. For work involving high dust exposure, for example on construction sites, an effective scratch-resistant coating is necessary so that dirty lenses do not become scratched when they are cleaned. This improves the comfort of the person wearing the safety spectacles, allowing them to concentrate to the best of their ability on the most important thing – their work.

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Eyesight must be protected.

The eyes are the most important and at the same time the most sensitive sensory organ. Approximately 85% to 90% of all perception involves the eyes. The protection provided by body’s natural features, such as eyelashes, tears, eyelids and blink reflex, rarely suffices in the industrial working world.

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is required if risks in the workplace cannot be entirely eliminated through technical and operational procedures. European legislation stipulates that it is the employers’ obligation to analyse the dangers in the working environment and, where required, ensure protective eyewear is made available to employees free of charge.
The standards for PPE have been defined in European Directive 89/686/EEC, while the guidelines for eye protection fall under EN 166. This is intended to help company owners fulfil their commitment to accident prevention regulations and government occupational health and safety directives as well as showing ways in which work-related accidents, illnesses and health hazards can be prevented.

All products tested in accordance with these directives are exposed to different dangers which can potentially damage the eyes and impair vision in industry, laboratories, schools and universities, among others. For example, all customised protective eyewear that features coated lenses labelled in accordance with K or N must meet the requirements of the standard EN 166 ff. (see image)




What do the K and N labels mean?

K labelling

Products must feature a high level of scratch-resistance in workplace environments with high dirt and dust exposure. Surface resistance to damage from small particles is tested by means of the sand trickling method and is carried out as follows:

  • Lens is secured on a rotating plate
  • 3 kg of natural quartz sand is trickled down onto the main focal area of the lens from a height of approximately 1.65 m at room temperature (23 °C)
  • Afterwards, the light refraction of the samples is measured. < 5 = K

If safety eyewear is labelled K, the lenses have been certified in accordance with the standard EN 168 as resistant to damage from small particles and as having a light density coefficient that does not exceed 5.


The following industries typically demand this level of protection:

  • Steel industry
  • Mining
  • Construction materials industry
  • Construction industry



N labelling

Working environments with high humidity and persistent condensation place the extreme demands on products. Resistance of lenses to fogging is tested by means of the water bath method and is carried out as follows:



  • Lenses stored in distilled water for one to two hours -> patted dry
  • Conditioned at room temperature (23°C) with 50% humidity for 12 hours



  • Water bath is heated to 50°C (surrounding environment: room temperature)
  •  Lens is attached over the opening of the water bath
  • The transmission factor change (>20%) on introduction of light source is measured
    –> Time taken for lenses to fog up is measured. > 8 seconds = N

If safety eyewear is labelled K, the lenses have been certified in accordance with the standard EN 168 as resistant to fogging and as remaining fog-free for at least 8 seconds, even after immersion in water.


The following industries typically demand this level of protection:

  • Paper industry
  • Food industry
  • Textile processing
  • Refrigerated warehouses



uvex’s coating systems that are developed and produced in-house far exceed the the requirements of the standard EN 168.
The right coating provides a specific protective function to ensure the eyewear is anti-fog, scratchproof and resistant to chemicals. Please visit the uvex website to discover more about uvex coatings for safety eyewear: http://goo.gl/dRe5JC


Please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. Please email expertenblog@uvex.de and we will be happy to help.

uvex coating expertise “made in Germany”

The coating technologies developed in house are our corce competence

As an innovative brand system provider with manufacturing expertise, we aim to offer our customers the optimum products for all manner of work requirements. Our uvex safety eyewear, with maximum wearer comfort, 100% UV 400 protection and unique coating technology, help us to achieve this goal. At our headquarters in the Franconian town of Fürth, we manufacture products in the competence field of eye protection, from the plastic frame to the coated lens. The correct coating is essential in order to provide safety eyewear suitable for virtually any application.


High-tech environment at our production site in Fürth

With our own fundamental research division, ideas are implemented and projects are realised in the area of coatings. Mechanical, optical and functional properties are continuously scrutinised in our own testing laboratory. With more than 85 years of experience in occupational safety, we know what it takes and offer our customers two coating methods for optimum wear features.

uvex optidur coated lenses have the same properties on both sides of the lens. The uvex optidur NCH coating provides extreme scratch resistance and resistance to chemicals on both sides and particularly good cleaning qualities, making it ideal for dusty and robust working environments.


uvex supravision coating for optimum anti-fogging protection on the inside and scratch resistance on the outside

The highlight and core competence in the field of eye protection is the innovative supravision technology. This enables us to coat a lens so that it is scratch-resistant on the outside and non-fogging on the inside. The outside of the lens is also resistant to chemicals and very easy to clean and therefore has an extremely long lifespan.  On the inside, the duration of the anti-fogging markedly exceeds the standard requirement of 8 seconds. uvex supravision HC-AF offers wearers fog-free vision for twice as long as the norm, while the anti-fog performance of supravision is even three times greater than that required by the standard. They are particularly suited to working environments where eyewear suddenly mists up and has to be cleaned frequently. Compared with many competing models on the market, our uvex coatings are permanent and do not wash off, even when cleaned repeatedly. Customers therefore have durable, functional and perfectly fitting safety eyewear.  For work areas with extremely high air humidity and persistent exposure to condensation, a special anti-fog coating has been developed that gives wearers lasting mist-free vision. Supravision extreme coated lenses are also scratch-resistant on the outside and offer an anti-fog performance on the inside, which does not become saturated, so never steams up. The super fit ETC model, which has been specially developed for environments with changing temperatures and has an extreme coating on both sides, offers the perfect solution. To protect our eyes from optical hazards due to infra-red radiation, we offer a special infradur coating, which protects against infra-red radiation and ultraviolet light as well as minimising welding spark damage. The new infradur AF coating also offers an anti-fogging effect on the inside, which protects wearers from condensation when working.



Innovation made in Germany

To coincide with this year’s A+A trade fair in Dusseldorf, we shall be presenting a new coating technology: uvex supravision CR.
This is an innovative coating with anti-fogging protection for the new uvex CR models that has been specially designed for multiple sterilisation in autoclaves.

Experience the benefits of our coating expertise and inform yourself about other interesting topics in the field of eye protection. You are also welcome to visit our headquarters and see the unique eye protection competence centre for yourself.