protection is mandatory in all areas where there is potential for injury. This applies not
only to persons who work continuously in these areas, but also to persons who may be in
the area only temporarily, such as maintenance or clerical personnel. All eye protective
equipment shall comply with the requirements set forth in the American National Standard
for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, Z 87.1-1968, and the Oklahoma
Eyeglass Protection Law of 1961.
The type of eye protection required depends on the hazard. For most
situations, safety glasses with side shields are adequate. Where there is a danger of
splashing chemicals, goggles are required. More hazardous operations include conducting
reactions that have potential for explosion and using or mixing strong caustics or acids.
In these situations, a face shield or a combination of face shield and safety goggles or
glasses should be used.
Plastic safety glasses should be issued to employees who do not require
For persons requiring corrective lenses, safety glasses ground to their
prescription are available in a safety frame. Contact Environmental Health Services for
additional information about availability. Please note that the wearing of safety glasses
does not excuse the employee from the requirement of wearing safety goggles.
It is recommended that contact
lenses not be permitted in the laboratory. The reasons for this prohibition are:
- If a corrosive liquid should splash in the eye, the natural reflex to clamp the eyelids
shut makes it very difficult, if not impossible, to remove the contact lens before damage
- The plastic used in contact lenses is permeable to some of the vapors found in the
laboratory. These vapors can be trapped behind the lenses and can cause extensive
The lenses can prevent tears from removing the irritant. If Departmental
Chemical Hygiene Officer chooses to allow contact lenses to be worn, they shall be
protected by goggles designed specifically for use with contact lenses. (The protective
goggles for use with contact lenses fit loosely around the eyes and have no vents for
access by vapors.) If chemical vapors contact the eyes while wearing contact lenses, these
steps should be followed:
- Immediately remove the lenses.
- Continuously flush the eyes, for at least 15 to 30 minutes.
Seek medical attention.
Although safety glasses are adequate protection for the majority of
laboratory operations, they are not sufficient for certain specific operations where there
is danger from splashes of corrosive liquids or flying particles. Examples are: washing
glassware in chromic acid solution, grinding materials, or laboratory operations using
glassware where there is significant hazard of explosion or breakage (i.e., in reduced or
excess pressure or temperature). In such cases, goggles or face shields shall be worn if
there is need for protection of the entire face and throat.
If, despite all precautions, an employee should experience a splash of
corrosive liquid in the eye, the employee is to proceed (with the assistance of a
co-worker, if possible) to the nearest eyewash fountain and flush the eyes with water for at
least 15 to 30 minutes. Flush from the eye outward. During this time, a co-worker
should notify the proper authorities.
- Visitors shall follow the same eye protection policy as employees. If they do not
provide their own eye protection, it is the laboratory's responsibility to provide
adequate protection. It should be the responsibility of the employee conducting the tour
to enforce this policy. After use safety glasses/goggles used by visitors should be
cleaned prior to reuse.
Aprons--Rubber or Plastic?