Revised on
01/26/17 02:05pm
SafetyNet #

Eye and Face Safety Protection for Laboratory Workers

Contact information

UC Davis Policy and Procedure 290-50 provides guidance regarding protective equipment for the workplace. The department, PI, and/or supervisors shall:

  1. Instruct employees on use of required eye/facial protection and document this training;
  2. Ensure use and maintenance in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, in a clean and sanitary condition; and
  3. Eye protection is in compliance with ANSI Z87.1.

Job specific Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) requirements must be available and maintained in the facility’s Injury and Illness Prevention Plan (IIPP) as Safe Work Practices. Where eye protection is required and the employee requires vision correction, such eye protection shall be provided as follows:

  1. Safety glasses with suitable corrected lenses, or
  2. Safety goggles designed to fit over prescription glasses, or
  3. Face shields used in conjunction with safety goggles or glasses.

Working Environments:

In locations where there is a risk of injury to eye or face, eye and/or face protective equipment must be worn. Due to the variability in work environments, hazard analysis must be performed on specific procedures, tasks, tools or equipment used by employees to identify PPE required by these personnel. Job specific PPE requirements must be maintained either in a Hazard Assessment, UC Davis Chemical Hygiene Plan or a Laboratory-specific Safety Plan for ready access by students, visitors and employees. Effective eye and face protection device requirements can differ between or within a work environment. A PPE Selection guide is available for use. For laser or UV hazards please refer to Safety Net #73 - Laser Protective Eyewear and Safety Net #106 - Hazards of Ultraviolet Radiation to select appropriate protective eyewear .

Laboratory Workers:

When working in laboratories on the UC Davis campus, personnel are required to wear appropriate PPE as defined in their Hazard Assessment. This equipment is intended to minimize exposure or injury to laboratory students, visitors, and employees. All personnel working with hazardous materials, and any individuals in adjacent spaces who have the potential to be exposed to chemical splashes or other hazards, are required to wear protective eyewear consistent with the hazard assessment or Standard Operating Procedure requirements (see UCOP PPE Policy). If laboratory procedures call for a face shield, then safety glasses or goggles must also be worn underneath the face shield.

Non-Laboratory Workers:

Everyone working in non-laboratory areas at UC Davis are required, to wear appropriate PPE. According to the types of and extent of hazards, the types of PPE which must be worn is determined by conducting a hazard assessment. This equipment reduces the risk of injury or exposure to potential hazards. PPE for the face and eyes: safety glasses, goggles, and face shields, must always remain clean and free of contaminants. Damaged safety glasses, goggles, or face shields must be replaced. If procedures call for a face shield, safety glasses or goggles must also be worn (consistent with OSHA guidance).

Special Considerations for Prescription Eyeglasses or Contact Lens Users

Corrective Lenses:

Employees wearing corrective eyeglasses or sunglasses and those wearing contact lenses should follow these recommendations:

  • Wearing of contact lens is prohibited in working environments having harmful exposure to materials or light flashes, except when special precautionary procedures, which are medically approved, have been established for the protection of the exposed employee; • Do not handle or store contact lenses in areas where chemical, biohazard, or radiological materials are used or stored;
  • Do not insert contacts in dusty environments or in areas where chemical, biohazard, or radiological materials are used or stored;
  • Certain chemicals should not be used when wearing contact lenses. If you need medical advice about wearing contact lenses in areas where chemicals are stored and/or used, contact Occupational Health;
  • Employees wearing prescription glasses (not safety glasses) must wear secondary protection (i.e. visitors glasses/over-glasses or goggles),or, the option is to obtain prescription safety glasses; and
  • Contact lens wearers should inform their supervisor and co-workers they wear contact lenses.

Prescription Safety Glasses:

For employees who wear prescription safety glasses, side shields must be affixed to the frames to protect eyes, per ANSI Z87.1. The employee’s home department is responsible for paying and covering the cost of prescription eyewear materials (frames and impact resistant lenses), up to a maximum of $150 per year. Employees are responsible for any additional professional fees associated with the eye examination, fitting and dispensing.

If you are in need of prescription safety eyewear you can contact: