|Eye Impact Protection
Impact goggles or safety glasses are necessary as the minimum protection when a potential exists for flying particulate matter to impact your eyes. This occurs in most all machining, wood-cutting (or lathe work), as well as in much chemical work, grainary operations, welding/brazing/torch-cutting. The requirement for impact protection by goggles/glasses may be obviated by the use of eye/face protection which includes impact protection by means of a more protective item, such as an impact face-shield, helmet, or impact-resistant full-face respirator.
Impact goggles or glasses (with side shields if stipulated by the hazard assessment pertaining to the work) which conform to ANSI Z87.1 specifications. (They will be stamped with Z87.1 if they conform, but the presence of that marking does not make them impact protection. ANSI Z87.1 contains specifications for many different types of protective eyewear, including splash goggles, impact protection, and face shields.) Side shields are necessary with impact glasses if there is a chance of impact coming from the side.
The proper donning and doffing (putting on and taking off) of eye protection is largely intuitive for most people, but the following points are emphasized for those wearing prescriptive glasses.
1) Impact goggles are the best alternative for wearing over eyeglasses. They need to be inspected for comfort, visibility, fit (strength of elastic band). Do not use goggles if they do not fit comfortably, or impair your vision. Antifog droplets and wipes can be used to reduce condensation.
2) “Over the glasses” safety eyewear with side shields (by U-Line) are an acceptable alternative in many research labs. These are available to the Purdue Chemistry community at no cost, through the Dept. Safety Committee, and available for pickup in BRWN 4103.
Goggles or glasses have been properly put on when they are situated comfortably on the face in such a manner that they cover both eyes, will not slip down, and allow you to see your work. Side shields are necessary with impact glasses if there is a chance of impact coming from the side. Removing the goggles or glasses requires no special precautions unless they have been contaminated in some manner with a harmful substance. In the case of exposure to chemical hazards that coats the PPE eyewear, it may be advisable to remove it AFTER getting one's face into the eyewash or emergency shower. Always know where the eyewash and shower are located, and how to get there with your eyes closed! (And keep the path from your work to that location completely clear of trip/slip hazards.)
Protective eyewear is limited mostly by whether you remember to keep it on your eyes. Impact goggles and glasses will not protect adequately against violent explosions of apparatus or chemical reaction set-ups; if this is a possibility there should be a blast shield between you and the apparatus or set-up. Protective eyewear, especially plastic, can become scratched and scuffed to the point where it interferes with vision -- dispose of equipment when this is the case.
Goggles and glasses should be kept clean with mild soap and water, and stored in a dry, temperate atmosphere out of harm's way. Avoid hanging eyewear by the elastic band, as this can significantly weaken the band by prolong stretching in a short time. If protective eyewear items are not contaminated with chemical, biological, or radioactive material, there are no special disposal considerations; they are regular trash.