Acceptable Side Shields for Protective Glasses [29 CFR 1910.133(a)(2)]
According to 29 CFR 1910.133(a)(2), employers must ensure that protective glasses are equipped with side protection in order to protect employees from flying objects. The rule indicates that detachable side protectors (e.g., clip-on or slide-on side shields) meeting the pertinent requirements of this section are acceptable.
In a letter of interpretation dated January 29, 2007, OSHA explains that even though standards allow an employee to use detachable side shields on their safety glasses, the employer can prohibit the use of these devices in their workplace. The OSHA standard is the minimum requirement, but the employer can require employees to have protection above and beyond the OSHA requirements. The reason for this interpretation is that some employers were concerned that the detachable side shield might become disengaged from the safety glass frame and expose an employee's eyes to flying objects that might approach the wearer from the side.
To learn more about this and other safety requirements, attend Environmental Resource Center's OSHA 10-Hour Compliance Course or attend the Environmental, Health, and Safety Laws and Regulations seminar.