OSHA Updates PPE Requirements
Federal officials have published a final rule to align their eye and face protection rules with other current safety standards.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration said Monday (March 28) that the rule updates requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in construction, general industry, longshoring, shipyard employment, and marine terminals.
The final rule becomes effective April 25. It was first proposed last March.
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 noted in the rule proposal stage.
Replacing Dated References
The new rule updates references in OSHA's Eye and Face Protection Standards to recognize the ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, while deleting the outdated 1986 edition of that same national consensus standard. OSHA also retains the 2003 and 1989 (R-1998) versions of the ANSI standard already referenced in its standard.
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 OSHA.
Earlier versions focused on protector type, such as spectacles, goggles or face shields.
The rule also revises language in OSHA’s construction rule to make it more consistent with general industry and maritime standards.
Specifically, the final rule updates the construction standard by deleting the 1968 version of the ANSI standard that was referenced and now includes the same three ANSI standards referenced above to ensure consistency among the agency's standards, according to OSHA.
More information: www.osha.gov.