Every year, thousands of workers are blinded by occupational injuries.
The majority of these injuries are those that could have been prevented with proper eye and face protection. Businesses suffer costs of more than $300 million each year in lost production time, medical expenses, and worker’s compensation.
OSHA regulates eye and face protection to ensure the safety of all employees in the work environment. It must be provided when necessary for protection against chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards.
But first, employers must select the right kind of personal protective equipment (PPE) for the job at hand.
Selecting the Right Eye & Face Protection Equipment
The appropriate eye and/or face protection depends on the hazards of the workplace.
A hazard assessment can determine the risk of exposure to eye and face hazards, including those which can be encountered in an emergency.
Use the OSHA table below to identify your workplace hazards, and click the links to learn about what specific type of PPE is recommended.
|Hazard type||Examples of Hazard||Common Related Tasks|
|Impact||Flying objects such as large chips, fragments, particles, sand, and dirt||Chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, wood working, sawing, drilling, chiseling, powered fastening, riveting, and sanding|
|Heat||Anything emitting extreme heat||Furnace operations, pouring, casting, hot dipping, and welding|
|Chemicals||Splash, fumes, vapors, and irritating mists||Acid and chemical handling, degreasing, plating, and working with blood|
|Dust||Harmful dust||Woodworking, buffing, and general dusty conditions|
|Optical Radiation||Radiant energy, glare, and intense light||Welding, torch-cutting, brazing, soldering, and laser work|
Criteria for Personal Protective Equipment
Any eye and face protection must comply with the following standards:
- Eye and face personal protective equipment (PPE) shall be distinctly marked to facilitate identification of the manufacturer. [29 CFR 1910.133(a)(4)]
- The following minimum requirements must be met by all protective devices. Protectors shall:
- Provide adequate protection against the particular hazards for which they are designed.
- Be of safe design and construction for the work to be performed.
- Be reasonably comfortable when worn under the designated conditions.
- Fit snugly and not unduly interfere with the movements of the wearer.
- Be durable.
- Be capable of being disinfected.
- Be easily cleanable.
- Be distinctly marked to facilitate identification only of the manufacturer.
Fitting Personal Protective Equipment
Protective gear isn’t much use if it doesn’t fit, as this can compromise the protective barrier between the hazard and the wearer. Comfort is also important so that employees can work without obstacles.
Here are OSHA’s standards for comfort and fit of PPE:
- Fitting of goggles and safety spectacles should be done by someone skilled in the procedure.
- Prescription safety spectacles should be fitted only by qualified optical personnel.
- Devices with adjustable features should be fitted on an individual basis to provide a comfortable fit that maintains the device in the proper position.
- Eye protection from dust and chemical splash should form a protective seal when fitted properly.
- Welding helmets and face shields must be properly fitted to ensure that they will not fall off during work operations.
About Worksite Medical
In most cases, OSHA requires medical surveillance testing, and at no cost to employees.
Worksite Medical makes that program easier with mobile medical testing.
We conduct on-site respirator fit tests, as well as pulmonary function test and heavy metal lab work, right on your job site. We also keep accurate, easy-to-access medical records for your convenience. You’ll keep your employees at work, and stay ahead of OSHA inspections.
With Worksite Medical, a mobile medical testing unit — we can bring all the resources of a lab to you. Our certified lab technicians can perform both qualitative and quantitative respirator tests to ensure a perfect fit.
Protect your team and your workplace now with Worksite Medical. Not sure what you need? Try our medical testing wizard here.
Give us a call at 1-844-622-8633, or complete the form below to schedule an on-site visit or to get your free quote!