OSHA Proposed Update of Eye and Face Protection Standards Could Affect Older Arc Flash Shields

OSHA put in a proposal to update eye and face protection standards in the areas of general industry, shipyard employment, marine terminals, longshoring, and construction.

They propose to update references to include the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard  Z87.1-2010. They also propose to change the language in the standards for construction to match the language in both maritime and general industry.

The original OSHA eye and face protection standard was adopted in 1971.  2009 saw the most recent amendment for the areas of general industry, shipyard employment, long-shoring, and marine terminals. The most recent OSHA revision for the construction eye and face protection standard occurred in 1993.

ANSI Z87.1-2010 describes the hazard (i.e., “droplet and splash, impact, optical radiation, dust, fine dust, and mist”). Earlier versions of 87.1 emphasize the type of protection needed and their general requirements.

The goals of these proposed updates are to eliminate confusion in interpretation, clarify what employers are required to provide their employees, and provide current protection for workers.

This change could affect ASTM F2178 arc flash shields made of polypropionate from the past, as now this standard requires polycarbonate for arc flash.  Shield replacements are normally available from the supplier, but new hoods and shields should meet the new standard.  Polycarbonate is a little stronger, though we know of no reported failures of polypropionate in arc flash exposures.

OSHA will accept comments on this proposal until April 13, 2015.



Hugh Hoagland

Hugh Hoagland

does research and testing of PPE exposed to electrical arcs and is an arc flash expert. Hugh is a Sr. Consultant at ArcWear and Sr. Partner at e-Hazard. Read more about Hugh.

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