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 http://www.osha.gov.

April 7, 1987

Mr. John P. Hale
Director
Respirator Programs
Darell Bevis Associates, Inc.
14640 Flint Lee Road, Suite D
Chantilly, Virginia 22021

Dear Mr. Hale:

This is in response to your letter of March 6, concerning the use of eyeglass inserts or spectacle kits inside respirator full facepieces.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration's (OSHA) position on the issue of using other than the manufacturer supplied spectacle kits or eyeglass inserts is that the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) does not perform tests to determine the acceptability of the kits or inserts. Other devices may provide a better fit than those provided by the respirator manufacturer, however, most manufacturers do not wish to make a request to NIOSH on accepting these devices.

OSHA will accept an eyeglass insert or spectacle kit if the device does not interfere with the facepiece seal and if it does not cause any distortion of vision, damage the lens of the facepiece, or cause any physical harm to the wearer during use. While we have not evaluated the Smith Therma-Clear lens overlay, if it meets the criteria stated above, the device may be acceptable for use with a full facepiece.

Thank you for your interest in promoting occupational safety and health.

Sincerely,



Edward J. Baier
Director
Directorate of Technical Support