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OSHA Revises Eye & Face Protection Standards

By Jordy Byrd

worker wearing proper eye and face protection

OSHA is working to revise outdated Eye and Face Protection Standards. The organization announced proposed revisions in March, which addressed updates to personal protective equipment (PPE) requirements in the agency's general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, marine terminals, and construction standards.

If approved, the regulation will incorporate industry standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), specifically ANSI Z87 1. The original OSHA standards addressing eye and face protection were adopted in 1971.

Since then, OSHA has amended the standards twice. OSHA updated the construction standard in 1993 and the general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals standards in 2009.

Eye & Face Protection General Requirements

The proposed revisions offers industry-specific mandates and general safety guidelines. If approved, the regulation will require employers to:

  • Ensure affected employees 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
  • Ensure affected employees use eye protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors (clip-on or slide-on side shields) meeting the pertinent requirements of this section are acceptable
  • Ensure affected employees who wear prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards wears eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, or wears eye protection that can be worn over the prescription lenses without disturbing the proper position of the prescription lenses or the protective lenses
  • Provide eye and face PPE that is distinctly marked to facilitate identification of the manufacturer

Receive a complimentary Personal Protective Equipment Wallchart from Graphic Products, which provides industry best practices to protect the face and eyes while working with hazardous materials.