Protective Eye and Facewear Standard

Selection and Use

In many University workplaces, flying particles, dusts, vapours, chemicals or harmful rays can create a potential for eye or face injury. Whenever practicable, these hazards shall be eliminated or minimized through the use of substitution or engineering controls. To protect against those hazards which continue to exist after all such control measures have been implemented, appropriate protective eyewear or facewear must be used. This standard is based on the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z94.3-92 and the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1-1989.

Protective Eyewear
Contact Lenses in the Chemical Work Environment
Appendix A - Classification of Hazards and Recommended Protectors


Any worker who may be exposed to eye or face injury from an operation or process conducted within a University of Toronto workplace.
Note: In this standard, "worker" includes faculty, staff, students and visitors.


Principal investigators/supervisors and all others in authority shall:

Workers shall:


Eye and face injuries may be prevented by using the appropriate protective eyewear and facewear for the job. Appropriate protective wear must protect against the specific hazard presented, provide a comfortable and secure fit, and comply with CSA Standard Z94.3-92 "Industrial Eye and Face Protectors."

Appendix A outlines the recommended protectors to be worn when exposed to specific eye and face hazards.

The following outlines the general categories of protective eyewear and facewear:

1) Spectacle Type Safety Glasses

Safety glasses have lenses that are impact resistant and frames that are far stronger than those of regular eyeglasses. "Plano" (non-prescription) or prescription safety glasses (for those who need corrective lenses) with permanently attached sideshields must be worn by those who require protection against flying particles. Safety glasses must comply with CSA Standard Z94.3-92 .

Safety glasses come in a variety of lens materials, shades and tints. Lens materials include polycarbonate, plastic or glass, each of which varies in strength, impact resistance, scratch resistance and weight. It should be noted that current glass material lenses are unlikely to meet the impact requirements of CSA Standard Z94.3-92.

Regular eyeglasses must not be used in place of protective eyewear. Safety goggles must be worn over regular eyeglasses to protect against potential eye hazards. Alternatively, prescription safety glasses may be used.

2) Safety Goggles

Safety goggles offer greater eye protection than safety glasses by providing a secure shield around the entire eye area to protect against hazards coming from any direction.

Safety goggles are impact resistant and must meet the requirements of CSA Standard Z94.3-92. Like safety glasses, they are available in a variety of tints and shades.

Safety goggles may have direct or indirect ventilation to protect against fogging. Goggles with direct ventilation allow heat and humidity to dissipate, but do not protect against splash hazards. Goggles with indirect ventilation are designed to protect against dust and splash hazards.

3) Face Shields

Face shields worn alone are not considered protective eyewear. They are designed to provide general protection to the face and the front of the neck. Full face shields are often used to protect against chemicals or heat or glare hazards. Face shields do not fully enclose the eyes, and are to be used in conjunction with primary eye protectors such as safety glasses or goggles. Face shields are available with crown protectors to protect the front part of the head, or chin protectors.

4) Welding Helmets

Welding helmets are used when welding or working with molten materials. They are designed to provide protection to the face and the front of the neck from heat, glare, weld spatter and impact hazards.

5) Specialty Filter Lenses

Protective eyewear (i.e. goggles, helmets) equipped with appropriate filter lenses must be used to protect against harmful light or other rays, e.g. infrared, ultraviolet, laser light.

Contact Lenses in the Chemical Work Environment

Current evidence indicates that the use of contact lenses in the workplace, on the whole, does not place the wearer at additional risk of eye injury. Situations in which the use of contact lenses have minimized or prevented injury far exceed those in which they might have increased or exacerbated injury. This has been attributed to some obvious advantages related to the use of contact lenses, including increased visual acuity and better fit of protective eyewear than with eyeglasses. Furthermore, concerns associated with an increased risk of eye injury due to chemical splash or the absorption and retention of gases and vapours by the contact lens materials have not been supported by scientific evidence or human experience. Although there are some chemicals which interact adversely with contact lens materials, there have been many more instances where the contact lenses have been shown to provide a barrier to chemicals.

Based on existing evidence, it is reasonable to allow the use of contact lenses in chemical work environments. Contact lenses are not protective devices, and must be used only in conjunction with appropriate protective eyewear in eye hazard areas (e.g. splash goggles must be worn in an environment where hazardous liquid chemicals are handled or used).


Appendix A


NOTE: Safety glasses and goggles are specifically designed to protect the eyes. Where the use of safety glasses and goggles is indicated, one may use either safety glasses or safety goggles. In contrast, face shields are designed primarily to protect the face and neck area, and only provide secondary protection to the eyes. Face shields must be used in conjunction with safety glasses or goggles, and not as a substitute for either of them.
1) Flying Objects Chipping, scaling, stonework, hammering, lathework 1a 2a 3a NS
Rivetting, punching, shearing, wire and strip handling 1a 2a NS NS
Glass breakage NS 2a 3a NS
2) Flying Particles, Dust, Wind, etc. Grinding, buffing, polishing, woodworking, sanding, turning, light metal work and machining, concrete work, plastering, material batching and mixing, exposure to dust and wind  1a 2b 3a  NS
3) Abrasive Blasting Materials Sandblasting and shotblasting  NS 2b NS NS
4) Splashing from Molten Metal Casting, pouring molten metal, hot dipping operations  NS 2b 3b NS
5) Splashing from Liquid Chemicals Acid and alkali handling, degreasing, pickling and plating operations, chemical spray  NS 2b 3b NS
6) Heat, Glare, and Stray Light (slight reduction of optical radiation is required) Bright sun and light, reflected welding flash 1b 2c NS NS
Spot welding, stud welding  NS 2c 3b NS
7) Injurious Optical Radiation (large reduction of optical radiation is required)  Electric arc welding, heavy gas cutting, plasma cutting  1c NS NS Yes
8) Other Injurious Optical Radiation  Radiation within the Nominal Hazard Zone of Class 3b and Class 4 lasers where exposures above the Maximum Permissible Exposure can occur  NS Goggles with specialty filters  NS NS
NS Not suitable
1a Spectacle-type safety glasses with permanently attached sideshields
1b Spectacle-type safety glasses for optical radiation protection, with permanently attached sideshields
1c 1b (above) may be worn beneath a welding helmet
2a Eye-cup or monoframe goggles for impact protection
2b Eye-cup or monoframe goggles for dust and splash protection
2c Eye-cup or monoframe goggles for optical radiation protection
3a Head gear without crown protector
3b Head gear with crown protector

University of Toronto Protective Eye and Facewear Standard
March 1998

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