Eye Protection

Under Missouri State law, faculty, staff, and students are required to wear safety eye protection when engaged in an activity which might be injurious to the eyes. These would cover a wide group of employees from grounds keepers, to custodians, to secretaries required to enter laboratories. Of course, all students working in labs must wear eye protection. Contact lenses may be worn in a lab, but do not provide any eye protection.

Risk Assessment Procedure for Protective Eyewear

University Policy (MU BPPM 7.030) and State Law (RsMO §170.005) require eye protection be worn when hazards are present. The information listed below provides guidance on performing risk assessments for protective eyewear. If you need assistance, call 882-7018 for assistance.

Known hazards must be eliminated wherever possible. Protective eyewear must not be the only means of protection against eye and face hazards. Protective eyewear must  be used in conjunction with engineering controls and sound safety practices.

The following hazard assessment procedure shall be conducted to identify the existing and anticipated hazards and to select the appropriate eye and face protection:

Any hazard/risk combination that falls in either the "likely" or "possible" classifications will require protective eyewear. Those that fall into the "likely" category should also be reviewed by a safety professional. Any hazard/risk group that represents a "negligible" risk is not expected to require protective eyewear.

Warning - do not use past history alone as an indicator of risk. Just because you have yet to experience an injury does not mean that the risk is not substantial.

The International Safety Equipment Association has produced the 2015 edition of their Eye and Face Protection Selection Tool. The selection tool is comprehensive and addresses the hazards commonly encountered in the workplace. See for information related to laser and eye protection.

  1. Survey the Work Area. Conduct a walk-through survey of the area. The purpose of the survey is to identify sources of potential eye and face hazards. Consideration must be given to the following six hazard categories:
    • Impact
    • Heat
    • Chemical (including liquid splash)
    • Dust
    • Glare
    • Optical Radiation

  2. Identify Sources of Hazards. During the walk-through survey, observe the following:
    • Sources of motion; i.e., machinery or processes where any movement of tools, machine elements or particles could exist, or movement of personnel that could result in collision with stationary objects
    • Sources of high temperatures that could result in facial burns, eye injury or ignition of protective equipment, etc.
    • Types of chemical exposures
    • Sources of particles (i.e., dust, sparks, spray, mist)
    • Sources of optical radiation, i.e., welding, brazing, cut
    • ting, furnaces, heat treating, high intensity light sources and ultraviolet lamps
    • Layout of workplace and location of other personnel
    • Any electrical hazards

  3. Organize and Analyze the Data. After surveying the workplace and identifying the hazards, determine the likelihood of injury due the hazards present. For some hazards, such as chemicals that are stored, but never opened, the likelihood of injury is negligible. For purposes of this risk assessment, use the following categories to describe likelihood of injury:
    • Likely - the risk is clear and an injury would be likely
    • Possible - even if unlikely, it is reasonable to conclude an incident could occur
    • Negligible - no reasonable way for an injury to occur
  4. Select Appropriate Eyewear


Departments are required to provide protective eyewear at no cost to the employee (MU BPPM 7.030).

Competitive pricing has been secured through UM purchasing agreements. Both Grainger and Fisher Scientific have large selections of protective eyewear.

Many models of protective eyewear fit over existing prescription glasses. If such eyewear is not feasible, employees may work with University Optical to obtain prescription eyewear.

Prescription Safety Glasses

If you need Prescription Safety Glasses please follow the embedded link.