Examining Eye and Face Protection

Date Posted
Mike Rich

Federal OSHA requires employers to provide employees with eye and face protection when machines or operations present the potential for eye or face injury from physical, chemical, or radiation agents.

These stipulations not only apply to the grunt level employees but also to management personnel, supervisors, and any visitors while they are in a hazardous area.

The following article will examine eye and face protection requirements, when needed and hazards the equipment protects against.

Protection must meet the following requirements:

  • Adequately protect against the particular hazard for which they were designed.
  • Reasonably comfortable when worn under working conditions.
  • Fit snugly without unduly interfering with the movements or vision of the wearer.
  • Be of durable design and kept in good repair.
  • Easy to clean and disinfect.
  • Be distinctly marked with manufacturer’s identification and ratings for limits and precautions.


Eye and face protection is needed when performing these types of tasks:

  • Metal-working operations such as grinding, cutting, and machining during fabrication processes.
  • All hot-work including gas torch-welding, torch-cutting, brazing, electric stick welding, and wire-feed welding.
  • Air-gun or other air-tool operations involving compressed air.
  • Woodworking operations using power saws, routers, planers, sanders, lathes, or chippers.
  • During any power or pressure spray operations.
  • Any other general or specialized or chemical handling processes, where the risk of splash of harmful material is present.


The types of hazards to protect against include:

  • Intense harmful rays or injurious radiation are present.
  • Splash or splatter of hazardous liquids.
  • Molten metal, heat, or glare.
  • Fumes or acid burns.
  • Flying objects or particles.


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