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Appendix VIII (adapted from NMSU Lab Guide - dls)

Eye and Face Protection    ( Lab summary chart     PPE sign )

Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including eye and face equipment is required where there is a reasonable probability of injury that can be prevented by such equipment as identified by the hazard analysis completed for each job description (per 29 CFR 1910.132(d))  (See Appendices VII- for guidelines).

In such cases, the department must make conveniently available a type of protector suitable for the work to be performed, and employees must use such protectors. No unprotected person knowingly be subjected to a hazardous environmental condition. Suitable eye protectors must be provided where machines or operations present the hazard of flying objects, glare, liquids, injurious radiation, or a combination of these hazards, OSHA 29 CFR 1910.133 (a)(1).


Eye protection is required and must be worn in all locations in the building with the exception of the following: Classrooms, offices, computer terminal rooms, lounges, restrooms, hallways.

At the discretion of the safety committee, a clearly marked desk area, located in a laboratory, may be exempt. However, this must have written approval of the committee and the department head.

Eye protection areas

Eye protection areas mean essentially all operating laboratories or facilities, especially when activities are occurring that involve:

A. Corrosive or other chemically hazardous materials.
B. Hot molten metals.
C. Heat treatment, tempering or heating of flammable, solvents, corrosives or any other material above its relative flash point or above ambient room temperature, whichever is lower.
D. Gas or electric arc welding.
E. Machine shop operations.
F. Vacuum evaporation, use of cryogenic apparatus or any evacuated experimental system where an implosion hazard exists.
G. Chemical reactions, including high pressure reactors as well as reactions conducted in glass systems at any temperature or pressure.
H. Laser laboratories.
I. Plasma arc.
J. Any other activity or operation involving mechanical or manual work in any area that is potentially hazardous to the eye.

Acceptable eye protection includes:

1. Industrial safety glasses with side shields.

2. Your regular prescription glasses WITH PLASTIC LENSES with the addition of side shields, which may be purchased through Environmental Health and Safety.

3. Visitor eyeglasses with side shields -- acceptable only for temporary use by visitors to laboratory areas. It is the host's responsibility to provide adequate eye protection for all lab guests. Visitor eyeglasses are available from the storeroom or from the receptionist's desk.

4. When performing especially hazardous tasks, use either standard laboratory goggles or full face shields, whichever are appropriate or both. Visorgogs or conventional, vented vinyl lab goggles with polycarbonate window material of 0.060-inch minimum thickness are available from the University Bookstore. Faceshields are for protection of the worker's face only. Faceshields shall be used only with primary eye protection.

5. Personnel who wear contact lenses in the laboratory are required to wear additional eye protection. The level of protection shall be determined by the hazard analysis completed by the department. Supporting information may be found in "Prudent Practices for Handling Hazardous Chemicals in Laboratories," and the CRC "Handbook of Laboratory Safety, Edition 4".

All eye protection devices must meet the requirements of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1-1989. The approved devices will be stamped with Z87 on appropriate components.

Wearing of contact lenses in contaminated atmosphere with a respirator is not allowed, 29 CFR 1910.134(e)(5)(ii).

ANSI Z87.1-1989 Standard.

Eye protection devices, which shall include safety spectacles (with side shields), face shields or goggles, must comply with the ANSI Z87.1-1989 Standard.

All eye protection devices purchased through EH&S do meet these requirements. In the case of chemical goggles, only those with no-fog lenses shall be permitted.

NMSU Safety Policies

Lab Safety Guide

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