Archive Notice - OSHA Archive

NOTICE: This is an OSHA Archive Document, and may no longer represent OSHA Policy. It is presented here as historical content, for research and review purposes only.

OSHA requirements are set by statute, standards and regulations. Our interpretation letters explain these requirements and how they apply to particular circumstances, but they cannot create additional employer obligations. This letter constitutes OSHA's interpretation of the requirements discussed. Note that our enforcement guidance may be affected by changes to OSHA rules. Also, from time to time we update our guidance in response to new information. To keep apprised of such developments, you can consult OSHA's website at

June 24, 1976

Honorable Robert W. Daniel, Jr.
House of Representatives
Washington, D. C. 20515

Dear Congressman Daniel:

This is in response to your letter of May 13, 1976, which transmitted a letter dated April 12, 1976, from Mr. W. T. Wesson of Continental Telephone of Virginia. The letter concerned photo grey lens in relation to eye protection standards.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), in administering the Occupational Safety and Health Act of 1970, is required to enforce applicable OSHA standards and regulations. Your constituent's eye protection, when required in his place of employment, appears to be covered by 29 CFR 1910.268(i)(2) Telecommunications, Other Tools and Personal Protective Equipment, Eye Protection (enclosed sheet #1). This standard became effective on April 30, 1975.

29 CFR 1910.268(i)(2), among other things, requires the eye protection to meet the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(2) through (a)(6), which are listed on enclosed sheet #2. 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(6) requires that design, construction, testing, and use of devices for eye and face protection shall be in accordance with American National Standard Institute's (ANSI) Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection Z87.1-1968. This ANSI standard is quite explicit in that statement of compliance with the standard must include all performance requirements in their entirety.

OSHA does not approve or disapprove eye protection equipment. If your constituent's protective goggles or spectacles and their "photo grey" lens meet the requirements of ANSI Z87.1-1968, the manufacturer of these items will mark them as required by this standard. The manufacturer's markings would indicate that the eye protection equipment met the requirements of 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(6).

There may be instances where the Compliance Safety and Health Officer, during an OSHA inspection, may decide that a violation of this standard (29 CFR 1910.133(a)(6)) may warrant a de minimis notice in lieu of a citation due to a violation of a technicality that has no direct or immediate relationship to safety or health. No penalties are proposed for de minimis notices, and there is no abatement requirement. Prescription glasses may be in this category.

OSHA's Area Office in Richmond, Virginia, and the National Office in Washington have a copy of ANSI Z87.1-1968 for examination. ANSI Z87.1-1968 may also be purchased from the Sales Department, American National Standards Institute, 1430 Broadway, New York, N. Y. 10018, for about $6.

If I may be of any further assistance, please feel free to contact me.


Bert M. Concklin
Deputy Assistant Secretary