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Eye Face Protection
- Safety glasses effectively protect the eye from solid materials (dust and flying objects), but are less effective at protecting the eyes from chemical splashes.
- Use safety glasses for general working conditions where there may be minor dust, chips, or flying particles.
- Use safety glasses with side protection such as side shields or wraparound style where there is a potential of being struck by projectile flying objects such as:
- Fastening (e.g. staple gun)
- Grinding or abrasive wheels
- Cutting (e.g. power saws)
- Power actuated tools
- Use safety glasses treated for anti-fog.
- Use an eyewear retainer to keep the glasses tight to the face or hanging from the neck if not in use.
- Departments are required to provide eye protection for employees engaged in activities that produce objects which may enter the eye. While departments are not required to purchase prescription safety glasses, there is a policy for providing such eyewear. Contact your supervisor for details. Also, the department may provide an alternate type of eye protection (e.g. goggles) instead of purchasing prescription safety glasses.
Goggles should be worn in situations where there is potential for chemical fumes, splashes, mists, sprays, or dust exposure to the eyes. Chemical goggles form a liquid-proof seal around the eyes, protecting them from splashes.
- Goggles for splash or fine dust protection should have indirect venting. Use direct vented goggles for less fogging when working with large particles.
- Safety goggles designed after ski type goggles with high air flow minimize fogging while providing better particle and splash protection.
Goggles with a face shield are required when handling highly reactive substances or large quantities of hazardous chemicals, corrosives, poisons and hot chemicals, projectiles, or radiant energy. Face shields are not a substitute for eye protection. Always wear safety glasses or goggles under a face shield.
- Use face shields for highest impact, full face protection for spraying, chipping, grinding, and critical chemical or biohazards.
- Face shields may be tinted or metal coated for heat and splatter protection. The curve of the face shield will direct particles or chemicals coming from the side into the eyes.
Contact lenses may be worn in the laboratory, but do not offer any protection from chemical contact. If a contact lens becomes contaminated with a hazardous chemical, rinse the eye(s) using an eyewash and remove the lens immediately. Contact lenses that have been contaminated with a chemical must be discarded.