Eye Protection

Eye protection is critical for protecting an incredibly valuable yet vulnerable organ from traumatic injury. Flying particles, objects, or chemicals can instantly cause blindness. A variety of safety glasses, goggles, and face shields are available to protect against such hazards.

Safety glasses to protect against impact should meet the recognized American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard for eye protection (ANSI Z87.1-2003). A variety of stylish safety glasses are available to meet the comfort and appearance desires of any user. Safety glasses generally offer wraparound protection or folding side shields. Prescription safety glasses are also available through opticians. Goggles also provide impact protection, including fitting over glasses. Face shields meeting the standard provide impact protection to the entire face (1).

Eye protection from chemicals involves protecting against direct splash, although in some situations protection against vapor is also needed. To protect against direct splash, chemical goggles or a face shield is needed. Chemical goggles differ from other goggles by having indirect venting—

Table 6.1. Personal protective equipment.

Eye protection Hearing protection Respirators

Safety glasses, goggles, chemical goggles Earplugs, earmuffs, noise-reduction rating (NRR) Particulate, chemical (half-mask, full-face), powered

Coveralls and aprons Gloves, shoes, boots Fall arrest systems air-purifying, supplied-air Disposable, liquid-resistant, liquid-proof Chemical protective, other Body harness, lanyard, anchor point instead of holes along the side, which could allow liquid to splash through, chemical goggles have vents that allow air movement but do not provide a direct path for splash. Anhydrous ammonia is a common agricultural chemical for which protection is needed against the vapor as well as splash, so non-vented rather than regular chemical goggles should be used. If a face shield is used to protect the face against anhydrous ammonia splashes, non-vented goggles must still be worn.

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