The University of Iowa

PPE - Eye and Face Protection Information


Eye and face protection shall be required where there is a reasonable probability that injury could be prevented by such protection. PPE shall be selected in accordance with IOSH 1910.133, Eye and Face Protection.

Eye and Face Protection Use

The minimum types of PPE necessary for physical and chemical hazards are listed below:

  1. Safety glasses, as a minimum, are required where there is a potential of eyes being struck by projectile objects. Side shields are required if there is a hazard from flying objects from the side.
  2. Direct vented goggles (those with perforated holes on the sides) are an acceptable substitute for safety glasses with side shields.
  3. Chemical splash goggles (those with indirect ventilation on sides) are required where protection is needed against chemical splashes or sprays. These may also be used where impact protection is required.
  4. Face shields are required where facial skin protection is needed. They can only be used in conjunction with eye protection. The face shield is not a substitute for the safety glasses or goggles.
  5. Shaded eye/face protection is required for radiant energy sources from arc and gas welding, soldering and brazing, laser, ultraviolet, and infrared.

Exposure to bloodborne pathogens

The IOSH Bloodborne Pathogens Standard defines potential contamination as including generation of splashes, spray, splatter or droplets of blood or other potentially infectious materials called OPIM. Eye and face protection must be worn when potential exists for contamination of mucous membranes. Since the goal is to provide protection of the eyes, nose and mouth, protection may consist of one of two choices: 1) eye protection (that includes side shields) and a face mask, or 2) a chin length face shield only.

Eye and Face Protection Equipment Sources

“When prescription safety glasses are required, the purchase is handled through UI Optical with an interdepartmental requisition. The eye exam cost is the employee’s responsibility.

Eye and Face Protection Design Standards

PPE shall meet requirements specified in American National Standards Institute, Z87.1, Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection.  This standard covers exposure related to physical hazards and chemical hazards. This standard does not apply to Bloodborne Pathogens or protective equipment for lasers, X-rays, gamma rays and microwaves. Users should contact the manufacturer or EHS for selection assistance.

Eye and Face Protection Wear Factors and Limitations

When lenses become severely scratched or pitted they should be replaced.  Frames and elastic bands should be replaced when they become worn or broken. Eye and face protection should be selected based on the hazard present as stated above.