Eye and face protection is extremely important but often taken for granted. Workers should always wear protection for their eyes and when needed wearing a face shield may be crucial to avoid a potentially permanent injury.
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.102(a)(1) says that employees shall be provided with eye and face protection equipment when machines or operations present potential eye or face injury from physical, chemical, or radiation agents.
OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.133(a)(1) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection when exposed to eye or face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.
Hazards where face protection, in addition to safety glasses, are found when doing tasks like:
- Using a chop saw to cut concrete or rebar
- Operating a chainsaw
- Pouring, washing, or spraying chemicals or materials
- Grinding with hand held or heavy duty table grinder
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.102(a)(6) says that eye and face protection equipment shall provide adequate protection against the particular hazards for which they are designed.
Employees should never risk danger to their face and eyes even for just a few minutes of welding, cutting, or grinding. The damage can happen quickly and be permanent! Workers should always wear face and eye protection that is designed for safety protection and rated as required by OSHA regulations.
OSHA Construction Standard 1926.102(a)(2) says that eye and face protection equipment required by this Part shall meet the requirements specified in American National Standards Institute, Z87.1-1968, Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection.
OSHA General Industry Standard 1910.133(b)(1) Protective eye and face protection devices must comply with… American National Standards Institute ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices.
When Face Shields are the topic of the safety meeting, make sure the following points are covered with the team members at the meeting:
- Safety glasses aren't always enough - sometimes you need both the safety glasses to protect your eyes AND a face shield to protect your face.
- Always follow the manufacturer's recommendations for the specific face shield.
- Use the type of face shield suited for the specific task.
- Mesh face shields are great for cutting tasks where large particles could strike your face.
- Clear plastic/acrylic shields are better for tasks where small particles, splattering, or sparks could strike the face.