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March 29, 2016
OSHA updates eye and face protection standards

In a final rule published March 25, 2016, the U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) updated requirements for eye and face protections for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring operations, marine terminals, and construction.

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The final rule, which reflects current national consensus standards, ensures that workers can use up-to-date eye and face protection.

The rule updates references in OSHA’s Eye and Face Protection Standards to recognize the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) Z87.1-2010 Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices while deleting the outdated 1986 edition of that same national consensus standard.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 is also retaining the 2003 and 1989 (R-1998) versions of the ANSI standard already referenced in its new standard.

In addition, 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.

Under the final rule, employers may follow any of the three latest versions of the Z87.1 standards. The new rule places no new obligations, costs, or time constraints on employers. Employers that are already in compliance with OSHA’s eye and face requirements may continue their current practice in providing eye and face protection to their employees. The final rule now allows employers to follow the newest ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010 standard if they so choose.

OSHA’s final rule becomes effective on April 25, 2016.

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