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OSHA Issues Final Rule OSHA Updating Eye and Face Protection Standards

Release Date: May 5, 2016

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a final rule that updates requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) for workers in general industry, shipyards, longshoring, marine terminals, and construction. OSHA's final rule became effective on April 25, 2016.

The final rule reflects current national consensus standards and 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) standard, ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2010, American National Standard for Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices, published by the International Safety Equipment Association, while deleting the outdated 1986 edition of that same national consensus standard.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 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. OSHA believes these changes are warranted because it will make compliance easier for employers who perform work that is covered both by the construction standard and another of OSHA's standards (e.g., maritime).. Further, OSHA believes that the consensus standard reference should be updated because the new ANSI standards are at least as protective as the 1968 standard, and the Agency does not believe that PPE designed and tested to the 1968 ANSI standard is currently available for purchase.

Employers already in compliance with OSHA's eye and face requirements may continue their current usual and customary 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 choose and at their convenience—or to continue to follow the older versions (ANSI Z87.1-2003 or Z87.1-1989 (R-1998)), which appeared in the previous version of the rule. Employers are not required to update or replace protection devices solely as a result of this rule and may continue to follow their current and usual practices for their eye and face protection.

Further details are contained in the final rule, which can be accessed at: https://www.federalregister.gov/articles/2016/03/25/2016-06359/updating-osha-standards-based-on-national-consensus-standards-eye-and-face-protection.

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The information contained in this publication was obtained from sources believed to be reliable. ISO Services, Inc., its companies and employees make no guarantee of results and assume no liability in connection with either the information herein contained or the safety suggestions herein made. Moreover, it cannot be assumed that every acceptable safety procedure is contained herein or that abnormal or unusual circumstances may not warrant or require further or additional procedure.


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