Understanding Eye Protection Requirements

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Eye Protection

The thought of an eye injury provokes a visceral reaction in most people. Our soft, sensitive windows to the world are vulnerable to a variety of hazards from gases in the air to particles of debris. Understanding the types of hazards in the workplace will help you select the right type of eye protection to meet OSHA requirements.

1926.102 Eye and Face Protection

OSHA standard 1926.102 lays out eye protection general requirements. This standard states that employers should ensure employees use eye protection when exposed to hazards from:

  • Flying particles
  • Molten metals
  • Liquid chemicals
  • Acids and caustic liquids
  • Chemical gases or vapors
  • Potentially injurious light radiation

Minimum Eye Protection Requirements

Part 1926.102(a)(5) of the OSHA standard outlines the basic requirements for eye protection. These minimums include:

  • Designed to provide adequate protection against specific hazards
  • Reasonably comfortable when worn
  • Fit snugly without interfering with movement
  • Durable
  • Capable of being disinfected
  • Easily cleanable

Additionally, employers should ensure employees who wear prescription lenses can wear eye protection that incorporates their prescription or can be worn over their glasses.

Eye Protection Criteria

Part 1926.102(b) of the standard specifies that eye and face protection should comply with a variety of consensus standards, including:

Types of Eye Protection

The type of eye protection an employee needs is determined by the type of work they perform and the hazards they may encounter. The protection should be comfortable and allow for unimpeded peripheral vision. Types of protectors include:

  • Safety glasses
  • Chemical Splash goggles
  • Dust goggles
  • Fluid resistant shields
  • Face shields 
  • Laser eyewear
  • Welding shields

We Can Help!

We can help you assess the hazards in your workspaces and identify the right type of eye protection. Our Eye Protection Basics service includes a facility survey and provides recommendations and training on the appropriate eye protection. Contact us today!