Personal Protective Equipment for Eyes

Safety Glasses are Required in all Department of Chemistry Laboratories and Chemical Storage Areas.  EH&S Guideline# 03-001 

Eye protection should be worn…Protect Your Eyes
when in any lab especially, 

when working with Chemicals, Glassware, Heat, or Flying Particles.

Require the Use of Appropriate Eye Protection — Executive Summary Word Doc.
Proper Eye Protection — Executive Summary Word Doc.

Safety Glasses or Goggles

Impact resistant safety glasses and chemical splash safety goggles provide different levels protection…
  1. Chemical splash safety goggles should be worn when, handling chemicals or biologicals known to be hazardous to the eyes.  Goggles
  2. Chemical splash safety goggles should be worn when, using chemicals or biologicals which you don’t know if they are hazardous
    to the eyes.
  3. Chemical splash safety goggles should be worn when, working with liquids which are hotter than 60°C.Safety Glasses
  • Safety glasses of the “impact type” (directly ventilated) are not suitable for chemical splash protection.
    If you can stick your finger between the device and your face, it is not a safety goggle.

Kaufman, James A. Require the Use of Appropriate Eye Protection at All Times. 8October 2015. 6 June 2016 <>.


Are required in Undergraduate Teaching labs in the University of Pittsburgh Department of Chemistry (per a 2008 Memo practically since 1996).
Are recommended when using Hazardous Chemicals E.g., Nitric Acid

“Minor” eye injuries… 

  • may cause long-term vision problems and suffering,
  • including a corneal scratch from a small fragment of glass for example, can lead to corneal erosion and a lifetime of recurring pain,
  • be prevented by wearing eye protection.

Occupational Health and Safety Hazard Alert – Eye Injury from a Shattering Pasteur Pipette, Monash University, Victoria, Australia. May 2008. 

Different levels of Eye/Face Protection:

  • Safety Glasses – use when in any research laboratory as a minimum level of protection.   Safety Glasses are appropriate for work with flying particles, and water and salt solutions.
  • Splash Goggles – Required in any Department of Chemistry Teaching lab.   Safety Goggles should be used when working with potentially dangerous substances, and pressurized material. (see above “Safety Glasses or Goggles”).
  • Face Shields – Are to be used along with eye protection underneath, and provide an additional level of protection guarding from splashes to the face.  Face Shields should be used to prevent exposure to bio-hazardous or infectious materials, and prevent exposure to hazardous chemicals E.g., Nitric Acid (see EH&S Guideline # 04-026).
See also: Safety Policies — MEMO 2008 – Eye Protection, Accident Reporting, and Lecture Bottles 

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