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.

May 9, 1988

Mr. J. M. Wayne Code
Chief Executive Officer
Encon/Midland Safety Products
412 N. East Street
P.O. Box 272
Coudersport, Pennsylvania 16915

Dear Mr. Code:

This is in response to your letter of February 4, 1988, and additional data forwarded March 30, requesting consideration of your 1910s-clear, 1910gs-green, 1910ys-yellow, and 1910ns-gray 1900 series Tuff-Spec safety spectacles as meeting the intent of the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) eye and face protection standard. The Tuff-Spec is identified by: 1) the silhouette of a rhinoceros on the left temple; and 2) "ENCON/1900" molded into the right temple.

OSHA's standards at 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(6) 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 the "ENCON/1900," in clear, green, gray and yellow tints, does provide protection equivalent to that provided by eye 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(a)(6) and such employers would not be cited, if this equipment was being used and maintained properly. It is extremely important, however, that the safety spectacle continue to be permanently marked "ENCON/1900," since this allows employers, employees and our compliance personnel to distinguish it from other types of protective eyewear. In addition, any appropriate warnings and/or instructions relative to usage, especially for the tinted lenses, must be made available on the packaging box and with the instructions supplied with the product, and must be such that they will reach the end user (the worker). Otherwise employees could mistakenly use eyewear providing insufficient protection

If we may be of any further assistance, please let us know.

Sincerely,



Thomas J Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs




March 16, 1988

Mr. J. M. Wayne Code
Chief Executive Officer
Encon/Midland Safety Products
412 N. East Street
P.O. Box 272
Coudersport, Pennsylvania 16915

Dear Mr. Code:

This is in response to your letter of February 4, 1988, requesting consideration of your 1910S-clear 1900 series Tuff-Spec safety spectacle 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(a)(6) 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, the 1910S-clear 1900 series Tuff-Spec safety spectacle does provide protection equivalent to that provided by eye 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(a)(6) and such employers would not be cited, if this equipment was being used and maintained properly. It is extremely important, however, that the 1910S-clear 1900 series Tuff-Spec safety spectacle 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 we may be of further assistance, please let us know.

Sincerely,



Thomas J. Shepich, Director
Directorate of Compliance Programs




February 4, 1988

U.S. Dept. of Labor
O.S.H.A.
200 Constitution Avenue N.W. Room N3119
Washington, D.C. 20210

Attn: Ms. Janet Sprickman, Chief Safety Abatement Assistant

Dear Ms. Sprickman:

We mailed you a report from Pittsburgh Testing (Lab #885278 P.P.S.-199) on August 25, 1987. We want you to discard that report and replace it with the report enclosed with this letter.

Encon/Midland Safety Products, Coudersport, PA herewith submits its 1900 Tuff-Spec safety spectacle to O.S.H.A. requesting a variance from O.S.H.A. standards in 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(6). It requires that design, construction, testing, and using of eye protection devices be in accordance with ANSI Z87.1-1968 updated to Z87.1-1979. We believe the 1900 Tuff-Spec meets or exceeds all of the performance requirements of Z87.1-1979 and therefore complies with 29 CFR 1910.133.

We submitted sample 1900 spectacles to PTL - Inspectorate, Inc., who tested them for performance in accordance with O.S.H.A. guidelines dated September, 1986. Their report and conclusion that the 1900 series meets all requirements is attached.

Our quality control programs for other Z87 products at our plant in Coudersport, PA are certified and audited by the Safety Equipment Institute. The most recent audit was in January, 1987. The 1900 will be included in those procedures.

Although in compliance with ANSI Z87.1-1979 performance criteria, the 1900 Tuff-Spec does not comply with the following ANSI paragraphs:

6.3.3.1 - Lens thickness - lenses......shall not be less than 3.0mm (0.12 inch).....the 1900 uses high impact polycarbonate 2.4mm (.087) thick and it exceeds the impact resistance of 3mm glass. This fact is recognized by industry.

6.1.2.1 - Spectacles shall consist of two lenses and a frame front......the 1900 has a one piece front with integral viewing areas that eliminates lens insertion and retaining problems.

These design specifications were written when safety glasses were available almost exclusively with glass lens. Present one piece designs provide spectacles that meet present requirements of 29 CFR 1910.133 and PTL Inspectorate, Inc. believes that future testing, according to the proposed ANSI Z87 standard, will show that the 1910 will presently meet the improved criteria.

We request you issuance of a variance for the Encon/Midland 1900 Tuff-Spec. Upon receipt of your variance we will mark the spectacle clearly with that number.

We appreciate your consideration.

Sincerely,

ENCON SAFETY PRODUCTS



J. M. Wayne Code
Chief Executive Officer