Eye and Face Protection
The type of eye and face protection you select for your employees to use is based on an assessment of the job's hazards. Once you know the hazards, be sure to select the right type of protection.
- Safety spectacles are impact-resistant eyeglasses. They have strong safety frames and impact-resistant lenses. They come with and without side shields. OSHA requires side shields when there's a hazard from flying objects. Some models are designed to fit over regular prescription glasses.
- Goggles fit the face to form a protective seal around the eyes. They protect the eyes from impact, dust, splashes, mists, vapors and fumes. Different types of goggles are designed for different types of hazards.
- Face shields are protective windows that extend from the brow to below the chin and across the entire width of the head. Face shields are secondary protection. Safety goggles or spectacles must be worn under a face shield to provide primary protection. Face shields provide additional protection from impact, chemical splashes or sprays, high temperatures, splashes from molten metal and sparks.
- Welding helmets are heat resistant, and they're fitted with a filtered lens. They provide secondary protection from optical radiation, flying sparks, metal spatter, and slag chips produced during welding, cutting and brazing. Safety goggles or spectacles provide the primary eye protection under the welding helmet.
The American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protective Devices (ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010) prescribes the design, performance specifications, and marking of safety eye and face products, including the safety goggles, spectacles, face shields and welding helmets. This hazard-based approach encourages users and employers to evaluate the specific hazards in their work environment, and to make the selection of appropriate eye and face protection based on this assessment.
Excerpted with permission from the Utah Safety Council Newsletter, August 2010.
For assistance in determining the right type of protective eyewear for your specific work situation or information on the university’s prescription safety eyewear program, please contact Environmental Health and Safety, 208-885-6524 or firstname.lastname@example.org.