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OSHA Eyes Update to PPE Rules

Wednesday, March 18, 2015

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Construction workers, shipyard workers and others on hazardous jobsites will be better protected from eye and face injuries under new revisions to personal protective equipment requirements, federal regulators say.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has issued a proposed rule to update and align its requirements with the American National Standards Institute’s eye and face protection standard, ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010.

eye injury
©iStock.com / VladimirFloyd

Work-related eye injuries cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation, according to OSHA.

OSHA published the notice of proposed rulemaking Friday (March 13) in the Federal Register.

The proposal would affect OSHA’s eye and face protection standards for:

Focus on Hazard

The proposal involves replacing dated references and other changes to reflect the requirements of the newer consensus standard.

For example, the latest ANSI standard for eye and face protection “focuses on a hazard, such as a droplet and splash, impact, optical radiation, dust, fine dust, and mist and specifies the type of equipment needed to protect from that hazard,” according to the notice.

offshore engineer
©iStock.com / 36clicks

Shipyard workers are among those who would be affected by the proposed rule. The public is invited to comment until April 13.

Earlier versions focused on protector type, such as spectacles, goggles or face shields.

The proposal also revises language in OSHA’s construction rule to make it more consistent with general industry and maritime standards.

Comments Invited

Comments on the proposed rule are due April 13. Individuals may submit comments electronically at www.regulations.gov (the federal eRulemaking Portal) by mail or fax.

OSHA says thousands of people are blinded each year from work-related eye injuries that could have been prevented with proper selection and use of eye and face protection.

Eye injuries alone cost more than $300 million per year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker compensation, OSHA notes.

   

Tagged categories: ANSI; Certifications and standards; Construction; Health & Safety; Health and safety; Marine; North America; OSHA; Shipyards

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