29 CFR § 1915.153 - Eye and face protection.

§ 1915.153 Eye and face protection.

(a) General requirements.

(1) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses appropriate eye or face protection where there are exposures to eye or face hazards caused by flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acid or caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

(2) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses eye or face protection that provides side protection when there is a hazard from flying objects. Detachable side protectors (e.g., a clip-on or slide-on side shield) meeting the pertinent requirements of this section are acceptable.

(3) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee who wears prescription lenses while engaged in operations that involve eye hazards wears eye protection that incorporates the prescription in its design, unless the employee is protected by eye protection that can be worn over prescription lenses without disturbing the proper position of either the PPE or the prescription lenses.

(4) The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses equipment with filter lenses that have a shade number that provides appropriate protection from injurious light radiation. Table I-1 is a listing of appropriate shade numbers for various operations. If filter lenses are used in goggles worn under a helmet which has a lens, the shade number of the lens in the helmet may be reduced so that the shade numbers of the two lenses will equal the value as shown in Table I-1, § 1915.153.

Table I-1 - Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy

Operations Electrode size 1/32 in Arc current Minimum *
protective
shade
Shielded metal arc welding Less than 3
3-5
5-8
More than 8
Less than 60
60-160
160-250
250-550
7
8
10
11
Gas metal arc welding and flux cored arc welding Less than 60
60-160
160-250
250-500
7
10
10
10
Gas Tungsten arc welding Less than 50
50-150
150-500
8
8
10
Air carbon (Light) Less than 500 10
Arc cutting (Heavy) 500-1000 11
Plasma arc welding Less than 20
20-100
100-400
400-800
6
8
10
11
Plasma arc cutting (light) **
(medium) **
(heavy) **
Less than 300
300-400
400-800
8
9
10
Torch brazing 3
Torch soldering 2
Carbon arc welding 14

** These values apply where the actual arc is clearly seen. Lighter filters may be used when the arc is hidden by the workpiece.

Filter Lenses for Protection Against Radiant Energy

Operations Plate thickness - inches Plate thickness - mm Minimum *
protective
shade
Gas Welding:
Light Under 1/8 Under 3.2 4
Medium 1/8 to 1/2 3.2 to 12.7 5
Heavy Over 1/2 Over 12.7 6
Oxygen cutting:
Light Under 1 Under 25 3
Medium 1 to 6 25 to 150 4
Heavy Over 6 Over 150 5

* As a rule of thumb, start with a shade that is too dark to see the weld zone. Then go to a lighter shade which gives sufficient view of the weld zone without going below the minimum. In oxyfuel gas welding or cutting where the torch produces a high yellow light, it is desirable to use a filter lens that absorbs the yellow or sodium line in the visible light of the (spectrum) operation.

(b) Criteria for protective eye and face devices.

(1) Protective eye and face protection devices must comply with any of the following consensus standards:

(i) ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1915.5;

(ii) ANSI Z87.1-2003, Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, incorporated by reference in § 1915.5; or

(iii) ANSI Z87.1-1989 (R-1998), Practice for Occupational and Educational Eye and Face Protection, incorporated by reference in § 1915.5;

(2) Eye and face protection devices that the employer demonstrates are at least as effective as protective as eye and face protection devices that are constructed in accordance with one of the above consensus standards will be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this section.

[61 FR 26352, May 24, 1996,, as amended at 74 FR 46358, Sept. 9, 2009; 81 FR 16091, Mar. 25, 2016; 85 FR 8732, Feb. 18, 2020]

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