OSHA Updates Eye and Face Protection Standards for Employers
OSHA recently issued a final rule revising the standards for eye and face protection. The rule (known as ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2015 or the Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection Devices standard) came into effect on April 25, 2016, and covers eye and face protection standards for employers across general industry, shipyards, marine terminals, long-shoring and construction.
How the final rule updates references to ANSI standards
OSHA’s ruling is intended to align workplace safety and compliance standards with the national consensus standards approved by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). As a result, OSHA mandates that all employers ensure that their employees use appropriate eye and face protection in areas where flying objects, dangerous chemicals or other hazards might pose the threat of eye or face injury. With the updated standards, all protective equipment provided must also meet specified consensus standards.
Why this is important
Depending on your particular business, this new standard could have an impact on whether or not your company is in compliance with the latest workplace safety standards. In order to help you better understand the appropriate use for specific eye and face protectors, the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) created a free Eye and Face Protection e-tool that can help guide you through the process of selecting the proper safety equipment.
To learn more about the national consensus standards, please visit www.ansi.org or download the federal register page detailing the new rule here. The American Society of Safety Engineers (ASSE) has also created educational material intended to help you understand the differences and the risk assessment methodologies, and can be found on the ASSE website.