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PPE for Eyes and Face
PPE for Eyes and Face

Selecting PPE for the Workplace
Optical Radiation Chemical Impact Heat Dust PPEPersonal protective equipment (PPE) for the eyes and face is designed to prevent or lessen the severity of injuries to workers. The employer must assess the workplace and determine if hazards that necessitate the use of eye and face protection are present or are likely to be present before assigning PPE to workers.
A hazard assessment should determine the risk of exposure to eye and face hazards, including those which may be encountered in an emergency. Employers should be aware of the possibility of multiple and simultaneous hazard exposures and be prepared to protect against the highest level of each hazard.

 

Hazard Assessment
Hazard type Examples of Hazard Common Related Tasks
Impact Flying objects such as large chips, fragments, particles, sand, and dirt. Chipping, grinding, machining, masonry work, wood working, sawing, drilling, chiseling, powered fastening, riveting, and sanding.
Heat Anything emitting extreme heat. Furnace operations, pouring, casting, hot dipping, and welding.
Chemicals Splash, fumes, vapors, and irritating mists. Acid and chemical handling, degreasing, plating, and working with blood.
Dust Harmful Dust. Woodworking, buffing, and general dusty conditions.
Optical Radiation Radiant energy, glare, and intense light Welding, torch-cutting, brazing, soldering, and laser work.
PPE Selection: Impact Hazards
Impact Hazards The majority of impact injuries result from flying or falling objects, or sparks striking the eye. Most of these objects are smaller than a pin head and can cause serious injury such as punctures, abrasions, and contusions. 

While working in a hazardous area where the worker is exposed to flying objects, fragments, and particles, primary protective devices such as safety spectacles with side shields or goggles must be worn. Secondary protective devices such as face shields are required in conjunction with primary protective devices during severe exposure to impact hazards.
PPE Devices for Impact Hazards
Spectacles Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes from a variety of impact hazards.
Goggles Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes against flying fragments, objects, large chips, and particles.
Face Shields Secondary protectors intended to protect the entire face against exposure to impact hazards. 
PPE Selection: Heat
Heat HazardsHeat injuries may occur to the eye and face when workers are exposed to high temperatures, splashes of molten metal, or hot sparks. Protect your eyes from heat when workplace operations involve pouring, casting, hot dipping, furnace operations, and other similar activities. Burns to eye and face tissue are the main concern when working with heat hazards.

Working with heat hazards requires eye protection such as goggles or safety spectacles with special-purpose lenses and side shields. However, many heat hazard exposures require the use of a face shield in addition to safety spectacles or goggles. When selecting PPE, consider the source and intensity of the heat and the type of splashes that may occur in the workplace.
PPE Devices for Heat Hazards
Spectacles Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes from a variety of heat hazards.
Goggles Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes against a variety of heat hazards.
Face Shields Secondary protectors intended to shield the entire face against exposure to high temperatures, splash from molten metal, and hot sparks.
PPE Selection: Chemicals
Chemical Hazard A large percentage of eye injuries are caused by 
direct contact with chemicals. These injuries often
result from an inappropriate choice of PPE, that allows 
a chemical substance to enter from around or under protective eye equipment. Serious and irreversible damage can occur when chemical substances 
contact the eyes in the form of splash, mists, 
vapors, or fumes. When working with or around chemicals, it is important to know the location of emergency eyewash stations and how to access them with restricted vision.

When fitted and worn correctly, goggles protect your eyes from hazardous substances. A face shield may be required in areas where workers are exposed to severe chemical hazards.
PPE Devices for Chemical Hazards
Goggles Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes against liquid or chemical splash, irritating mists, vapors, and fumes. 
Face Shields Secondary protectors intended to protect the entire face against exposure to chemical hazards. 
PPE Selection: Dust
Dusy HazardsDust is present in the workplace during operations such as woodworking and buffing. Working in a dusty environment can causes eye injuries and presents additional hazards to contact lens wearers.

Either eyecup or cover-type safety goggles should be worn when dust is present. Safety goggles are the only effective type of eye protection from nuisance dust because they create a protective seal around the eyes.
PPE Devices for Dust Hazards
Goggles Primary protectors intended to protect the eyes against a variety of airborne particles and harmful dust.
PPE Selection: Optical Radiation
Light RadiationLaser work and similar operations create intense concentrations of heat, ultraviolet, infrared, and reflected light radiation. A laser beam, of sufficient power, can produce intensities greater than those experienced when looking directly at the sun.  Unprotected laser exposure may result in eye injuries including retinal burns, cataracts, and permanent blindness. When lasers produce invisible ultraviolet, or other radiation, both employees and visitors should use appropriate eye protection at all times.

Determine the maximum power density, or intensity, lasers produce when workers are exposed to laser beams. Based on this knowledge, select lenses that protect against the maximum intensity. The selection of laser protection should depend upon the lasers in use and the operating conditions. Workers with exposure to laser beams must be furnished suitable laser protection.
Lens Requirements
When selecting filter lenses, begin with a shade too dark to see the welding zone. Then try lighter shades until one allows a sufficient view of the welding zone without going below the minimum protective shade.
Glare Protection
Control Glare with:
  • Special-Purpose Spectacles that include filter or special-purpose lenses to provide protection against eye strain

     
  • Changes in your work area or lighting

     
  • Tinted eyeglass lenses or visor-type shade
 
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