Sight Conservation

Sight Conservation

Emergency Eyewash Facilities - Local information

The responsibility for managing eyewashes rests with the owner of the work process that requires eyewashes (e.g., region, activity, etc.). Regions or activities shall provide emergency eyewash facilities in all areas where the employees’ eyes may be exposed to corrosive materials. All such emergency facilities shall be located where they are easily accessible to those in need. Work centers shall activate plumbed eyewash units weeklyfor a period long enough to verify operation and flush the line. During annual inspection, verification of the weekly eyewash activation is recommended. Quarterly verification, typically by the safety office is recommended. Activation may be required more frequently if the region’s/activity’s safety and/or occupational health staff determine it is necessary to ensure proper functioning and performance of the eyewash station. Inspection and maintenance tags should be placed on self-contained eyewash units to document most current inspection/maintenance. 

Regions or activities shall service pressurized and non-pressurize self-contained eyewash units quarterly, as a minimum, or per the manufacturer's recommendations, whichever is more frequent. Periodic maintenance shall include cleaning of the unit, replacement of water (depending on manufacturer’s recommendation), and checking for proper operation. Where an additive is used in a self-contained eyewash unit, regions or activities shall use additives specified by the manufacturer, and change fluid at an interval recommended by the manufacturer of the additive. Work centers shall maintain written, dated and signed maintenance records for a period of one year.

Regions and activities should only use self-contained eyewash units on a temporary basis until permanent emergency eyewash facilities are installed or at remote locations where water is not readily available. Regions and activities shall not use personal eyewash units for work with corrosives. For other work operations not involving corrosives, personal eyewash units can only be used on a case-by-case basis with approval from the region/activity OSH staff.

Occupational Eye Care Services and Equipment

The region/activity OSH office shall consult with supply officers and the cognizant medical activity to determine the most suitable procurement procedures when prescription protective eyewear is required. It is a civilian employee’s responsibility to obtain an eye refraction exam and secure an accompanying prescription for safety glasses (comprehensive vision examinations are a personal health responsibility and are strongly recommended in conjunction with an eye refraction examination). Regional and/or activity commanding officers shall establish procedures for obtaining prescription safety eyewear though contracts, reimbursement, cognizant medical activity, or other methods. Such procedures shall comply with provisions of Labor Management Relations covered under 5 USC Chapter 71, other provisions of law providing for collective bargaining agreements and procedures, and any agreements entered into under such provisions.

Vision screening (e.g., visual acuity, visual fields, color vision) is required to evaluate whether employees (or employee applicants) meet essential job elements. Functional requirements or medical surveillance/certification requirements are covered under the Occupational and Environmental Services in 0805.

When Navy medicine provides these services, all medical forms and evaluations must be documented according to the Bureau of Medicine and Surgery Manual of Medical Department, NAVMED P117.

Temporary Protective Eyewear

Where protective corrective eyewear is necessary, the command shall provide planos or goggles to visitors, instructors and others who must enter or pass through eye hazardous areas.  In addition, they shall be provided to employees awaiting delivery of corrective-protective eyewear.

Federal OSHA standard
 29 CFR 1910 Subpart I - Personal Protective Equipment; General requirements (1910.132) & Eye & Face Protection (1910.133)

Training link - ESAMS