Eye and Face Protection

Revision 6/08 Employees have to use appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation. Eye protection with side protectors is required where there is a hazard from flying objects. Workers who wear contact lenses must wear eye protection over the lenses. Eye and face PPE has Revision 6/08 to be distinctly marked to identify the manufacturer. Filtered lenses should always be the appropriate shade number for the work being performed.
Protective eye and face devices purchased after July 5, 1994 must comply with ANSI Z87.1-1989 or be demonstrated to be equally effective. Devices purchased before that date must comply with ANSI Z87.1-1968 or be equally effective. General guidance for the proper selection of eye and face protection against hazards associated with the listed hazard “source” operations.
Eye and face protective equipment is required by OSHA where there is a reasonable probability of preventable Revision 6/08 injury when such equipment is used. Provide a type of protector suitable for work to be performed and ensure that employees use the protectors. This applies to supervisors, management personnel, and should apply to visitors while they are in hazardous areas.
A BLS study found that about 60 percent of workers who suffered eye injuries were not wearing eye protective equipment. When asked why they were not wearing face protection at the time of the accident, workers indicated that face protection was not normally used or practiced in their type of work, or it was not required for the type of work performed at the time of the accident.
Revision 6/08 Provide suitable eye protectors where machines or operations present the hazard of flying objects, glare, liquids, injurious radiation, or a combination of these hazards. Protectors have to meet the following minimum requirements:
  • Provide adequate protection against particular hazards for which they are designed;
  • Be reasonably comfortable when worn under the designated conditions;
  • Fit snugly without interfering with the movements or vision of the wearer;
  • Be durable;
  • Be capable of being disinfected;
  • Be easily cleanable; and
  • Be kept clean and in good repair.
The National Society to Prevent Blindness recommends that emergency eyewashes be placed in all hazardous locations. First aid instructions should be posted close to such potential danger spots since any delay to immediate aid or an early mistake in dealing with an eye injury can result in lasting damage.

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