Eye and Face Protection

Version 1 (Current Version)
All Versions:
  • Version 1
TitleEye and Face Protection
CategoryCampus Environment
Sub-categoryHealth, Safety and Welfare

2000, 2009 Placed in University Policy Manual after EXPEDITED REVIEW, transitioned without substantive change from prior version, March 25, 2013.


Industrial Hygienist, 328-6166 Workers Compensation Manager, 328-6166 Assistant Director, 328-6166 Associate Vice Chancellor, 328-6166

Related Policies

Facilities Services

Additional References

ANSI Z87.1 (Contact EH&S)

1. Introduction

1.1. Purpose:

This standard rule establishes practices and procedures regarding the purchase and use of prescription and non-prescription protective eyewear for employees.

1.1.1. Appropriate eye and/or face protection is required when employees are in areas where there is exposure to eye and face hazards from flying particles, molten metal, liquid chemicals, acids, caustic liquids, chemical gases or vapors, or potentially injurious light radiation.

1.1.2. Eye protection must satisfy requirements of the most recent version of the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1 requirements.

1.1.3. A hazard assessment must be conducted to determine the appropriate type of eye and face protection.

2. Responsibilities

2.1. Environmental Health & Safety:

2.1.1. Review the hazard assessments to determine the need for safety glasses.

2.1.2. Assist departments in the purchase of safety glasses through consultation and program management for prescription glasses.

2.1.3. Ensure that the terms of the state purchasing contract are met.

2.2. Management:

2.2.1. Provide necessary funds for prescription and non-prescription safety glasses purchases.

2.2.2. Provide management support to supervisors and EH&S in coordinating program and enforcing the rule.

2.3. Supervisors:

2.3.1. Assist EH&S with hazard assessments and program coordination.

2.3.2. Approve the initial purchase and replacement of prescription safety glasses.

2.3.3. Provide non-prescription safety glasses to all staff required to use eye protection.

2.3.4. Enforce the safety glasses rule.

2.3.5. Ensure that employees wear safety glasses and side shields at all times.

2.4. Employees:

2.4.1. Assist in conducting hazard assessments for the determination of personal protective equipment.

2.4.2. Employees issued safety glasses will be required to wear them at all times when they are exposed to potential eye hazards as identified in the hazard assessment.

2.4.3. Store safety glasses and other eye and face protection in a location at work that is free from dirt, dust, chemicals and other hazards that may damage them.

2.4.4. Read, understand and follow all protocols, including care and maintenance of eyewear.

2.4.5. Obtain manager/supervisor authorization to obtain eye and/or face protection.

2.4.6. Coordinate all services of optical professionals (if prescription safety glasses are required).

2.4.7. Schedule and pay for prescription examination and final fitting/adjustment.

2.4.8. Obtain eye examination and submit completed prescription form to EH&S

3. Procedures/Guidelines

3.1. Acquiring Non-prescription Safety Glasses:

3.1.1. Upon initial assignment to a position requiring safety glasses, the employee will be provided with one set of non-prescription safety glasses (with side shields) along with any other personal protective equipment, tools, keys, etc. It is recommended that the employee be allowed to choose from several styles, as style and comfort are factors in ensuring that employees wear safety equipment.

3.1.2. Replacements for lost or damaged safety glasses will be acquired through the employee's supervisor and EH&S. The employee will be responsible for the purchase of replacement safety glasses that are lost or damaged due to the employee's negligence.

3.1.3. Visitors entering areas under the control of the University where impact hazards exist will be provided with non-prescription safety glasses by the participating ECU department. Such areas may include laboratories, shops, etc.

3.2. Acquiring Prescription Safety Glasses:

3.2.1. If the employee wears prescription glasses and is potentially exposed to impacts from flying objects, he/she qualifies for prescription safety glasses with side shields. To ensure employee safety, the employee will be issued non-prescription glasses to be worn over non-safety prescription glasses until the prescription safety glasses are received.

3.2.2. Prescription safety glasses are available on state contract.

3.2.3. The following procedure must be followed to purchase prescription safety glasses: The employee must obtain approval from his/her supervisor and EH&S. For replacement of prescription safety glasses, the employee must complete a Prescription Safety Glasses Approval form (Facilities Services Employees only). The employee will acquire an informational packet from EH&S with the prescription form. The employee will schedule and pay for an eye examination and have the prescription form filled out in full by the optical professional. The employee will take the information packet from EH&S with them to the eye examination and present it to the optical professional to ensure proper service. At this time, the prescription style, lens material option, lens treatment option, side shield style and the frame style (per state contract) shall be selected. Each department will pay $80 toward the prescription safety glass purchase, unless there is a medical reason or job requirement that necessitates additional funds. The employee is responsible for the cost of the examination and fitting. The employee will return the prescription form to EH&S for submittal to the prescription eyewear vendor. EH&S will review the form and will verify with the vendor that the $80 limit has not been exceeded. If the limit is exceeded due to job requirements, the employee's department will be informed of the circumstances and may elect to use other safety measures or pay all necessary fees. If the limit is exceeded due to employee choice, the employee will have the choice of paying the difference or selecting options that are within the limit. EH&S will submit the prescription order form with the "Ship To" address listed with the optical professional's business address. The vendor will make the glasses and ship them (per state contract) to the eye doctor that performed the initial examination. Upon receipt, the optical professional will contact the employee for the final fitting and adjustment. If there is any problem with the manufacture of the glasses, the employee must return them to EH&S for resolution. Employees receiving prescription safety glasses must have prescription, frame sizes and optional requirements verified by an optical professional; otherwise, all responsibilities for deleterious effects which may result from inaccurate compounding of the prescription or improper adjustment of the safety glasses will be disclaimed by the contractor and East Carolina University. Following the fitting, the employee will return to EH&S to verify their satisfaction with the safety glasses so EH&S may pay the invoice. The prescription eyewear vendor will invoice EH&S. EH&S will then complete a direct charge back to the department with a spreadsheet identifying the costs to the East and Health Science Campus Units.

3.3. Off-Contract Purchases:

3.3.1. Only non-prescription safety glasses may be purchased outside of the state contract.

3.3.2. Prescription safety glasses purchased outside of this contract or substitutions outside of this contract will not be allowed without prior approval of EH&S and the State Division of Purchase and Contract.

3.4. Replacement Of Safety Glasses:

3.4.1. Safety glasses will be replaced by the department when an employee's prescription changes or when the glasses are lost or damaged during normal wear and use. Safety glasses that are lost or damaged due to employee negligence will be replaced at the employee's expense. The decision of negligence will be made by the department with consultation from EH&S.

3.4.2. Employees requesting replacement of lost or damaged safety glasses must complete the Prescription Safety Glasses Approval form (Facilities Services Employees only). Damaged safety glasses must be included with the form as part of the review process.

3.4.3. To ensure the safety of the employee during the replacement process, the employee will be required to wear non-prescription safety glasses over his/her regular prescription glasses.

3.5. Return of Safety Glasses:

3.5.1. Eye protective devices issued to employees and visitors remain the property of the University and are to be returned when use of the device is no longer necessary. Upon termination of employment or transfer to another position that does not require the use of safety glasses, the employee shall turn in his/her safety glasses with keys and all other equipment as part of the termination/reassignment process.

3.5.2. The disposition of prescription safety glasses will be determined by the department, as other employees can seldom use these protective devices.

3.5.3. Visitors shall turn in safety glasses to the issuing department upon conclusion of the activity requiring the use of safety glasses or at the end of the workday.

3.5.4. Eye protective devices must be thoroughly cleaned and disinfected before being issued to another person. Disinfection can be conducted with isopropyl alcohol wipes followed by soap and water or thorough cleaning with disinfectant solution.

3.6. Approved Optical Professional:

3.6.1. Contacting an optical professional for the eye examination, fitting and adjustment is the employee's responsibility.

3.6.2. Any optical professional that can provide the necessary services is acceptable to the University.

3.6.3. The information packet collected from EH&S will include optical professionals that have the state contract frames available for viewing and selection.

3.6.4. The University makes no guarantee to the services of the above optical professionals.

3.7. Contact Lenses:

3.7.1. The National Society to Prevent Blindness points out that contact lenses do not provide eye protection in the industrial sense, and must be worn only in conjunction with approved safety eyewear.

3.7.2. Contact lenses will not be covered for purchase through this rule. However, contact lens wearers may choose to obtain non-prescription safety glasses and wear them over their contact lenses or obtain prescription safety glasses.

3.8. Photogray or Other Tinted Lenses:

3.8.1. Photogray or other tinted lenses are not permitted, unless the employee has a signed authorization from a licensed optical professional stating the reasons for the lenses (prescription) or approval from supervisor and EH&S in non-prescription. The authorization from the optical professional will be presented to EH&S for review and final approval.