OSHA’s proposed update of eye and face protection standards could affect older arc flash shields
OSHA proposes to update references to include the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard Z87.1-2010, and 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. It was most recently amended in 2009 for the areas of general industry, shipyard employment, longshoring, and marine terminals. The most recent OSHA revision for the construction eye and face protection standard was in 1993.
ANSI Z87.1-2010 describes the hazard (i.e., “droplet and splash, impact, optical radiation, dust, fine dust, and mist“) while 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.