PPE Selection >> Eye and Face Protection

Figure 1: Safety glasses with side shields
Figure 1: Safety glasses with side shields.
Figure 2: Wrap-around safety glasses
Figure 2: Wrap-around safety glasses.
Figure 3: Safety goggles
Figure 3: Safety goggles.
Figure 4: Welding hood
Figure 4: Welding hood.

The OSHA Hierarchy of Controls

  1. Engineering Controls
  2. Administration Controls
  3. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)

Eye and face protection is used to protect the eyes and face of workers from flying particles, molten metal, chemicals, welding arc, or bright light (such as radiant energy, UV, or infrared). [29 CFR 1915.153(a)(1)] Protection may include protective glasses, goggles, and face shields. These devices must meet the ANSI standard for eye and face protection. [ANSI Z87.1]

Additional Resources

Figure 5: Worker brazing with face shield and safety glasses

Potential Hazards

Eye and face injuries may result from:

  • Contact with flying particles, molten metal, chemicals, welding arc, lasers or radiant energy (such as bright light, UV, infrared).
  • Not wearing safety glasses when welding shields are raised to inspect welds or use chipping hammer or needle gun.

Additionally, obscured vision due to dirty or scratched lenses may cause workers injuries (such as trips, falls, struck-by, collisions).

Requirements and Example Solutions

  • Face shields or welding helmets (for example hoods) should be worn only over primary eye protection such as safety glasses or goggles. [1915 Subpart I App A 8(c) and 8(i)]
  • Protective equipment can be clear or shaded, depending upon the type and amount of shielding needed to protect workers' eyes. [Table for Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy, and 29 CFR 1915.153(a)(4)]
  • Safety glasses should include optical correction for workers who need corrective lenses, otherwise, cover lens or goggles must be provided. [29 CFR 1915.153(a)(3)]
  • Glasses or goggles must provide protection from hazards such as particles, objects, radiation, or liquids entering the eye from the sides as well as the front. Side shields (for example wrap-around, clip-on, slide-on) must be used. [29 CFR 1915.153(a)(2)]
  • Metal-frame protective eyewear should not be used when electrical hazards may be present. [29 CFR 1915 Subpart I App A 8(g)]
  • Ensure that eye protection is cleaned frequently and replaced when necessary.

Additional Resources

Figure 7: Emergency eye wash station
  • Fixed or portable eye wash stations/safety showers should meet ANSI Z358.1-1998: Emergency Eye Wash and Shower Equipment.