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Whether you are cutting pressure-treated lumber to build a deck in your back yard or performing complicated welding assignments during construction of a new space shuttle, proper eye protection is absolutely critical. Your eyes are more vulnerable to accident and injury than any other part of your body. Just one small, even microscopic foreign particle can do serious or permanent damage to your eyes. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA), after analyzing volumes of data, has designed and published detailed standards on the use of appropriate protection for your eyes.
OSHA has developed these guidelines in conjunction with the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to specify minimum recommended requirements for personal protective equipment (PPE) providing eye protection. Employers must provide eye PPE that protects employees from all manner of flying objects, large and small. For workers involved in welding or other torch related duties, a detailed grid prescribes the darkening shade responsibilities of the eyewear to further protect you from the additional hazards of light radiation being generated. OSHA regulation 1910.133 explains the eye protection standards for general industry, including welding-related activities.
Construction industry eye protection is addressed in a separate section (1926.102) which outlines the standards for PPE at jobsites. In addition to flying objects and light radiation, these standards also address potentially dangerous chemical threats to your eyes. Most eye protection takes the form of a variety of styles of goggles or a solid face shield attached to protective headwear. Read these sections and learn the recommended protective quality of the PPE you should use for your specific industry.