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 https://www.osha.gov.

September 3, 1986

Mr. Carl J. Koslesky
Quality Assurance Manager
Willson Safety Products
P.O. Box 622
Reading, Pennsylvania 19603

Dear Mr. Koslesky:

This in response to your August 11 and 12, 1985 request for consideration of your eye protective device called "Type 3" as meeting the intent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) Eye and Face Protection standard.

OSHA's standards at [29 CFR 1910.133(b)(2)] provide that "Design, construction, testing, and use of devices for eye and face protection shall be in accordance with American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, Z87.1-1968." The referenced ANSI standard, however, states in paragraph 2 that "variations from the requirements of this standard may be granted by the authority having jurisdiction only when it is demonstrated to the satisfaction of the administrative agency that equivalent protection is afforded."

On the basis of the information which you have presented to us, OSHA has determined that your product, "Type 3", does provide protection which meets all the requirements of ANSI Z87.1-1968. Therefore, OSHA would consider employers using this product to be in compliance with [29 CFR 1910.133(b)(2)] and such employers would not be cited, if this equipment was being used and maintained properly. It is extremely important, however, that the "Type 3" be permanently marked in a manner that would easily allow employers, employees and our compliance personnel to distinguish it from other types of protective eyewear. Otherwise, employees could mistakenly use eyewear providing insufficient protection.

If I may be of further assistance, please let me know.


John B. Miles, Jr., Director
Directorate of Field Operations

[Corrected 05/28/2004]