Safety Policies and Procedures Manual
Chapter 3: Shop and Agricultural Workplace Safety

Prescription Eyewear Program

SPPM 3.14

For more information contact:
   Environmental Health and Safety


This section describes procedures for departments electing to provide prescription safety glasses for employees exposed to flying fragments, chips and particles that may cause eye injuries.

Departments are required to provide eye protection for employees engaged in activities that produce objects that may enter the eye (see SPPM 2.60). However, departments are not required to purchase prescription safety glasses. The department may provide an alternate type of eye protection (e.g., goggles) instead of purchasing prescription safety glasses.

Hazardous Activities

The department may consider prescription safety glasses for employees engaged in potentially hazardous activities such as:

  • Grinding
  • Drilling
  • Cutting
  • Fastening
  • Sanding
  • Milling
  • Turning


The unit chair or director determines whether or not the department may provide prescription safety glasses. The unit chair or director also determines the amount of funding the department may provide toward the purchase of prescription safety glasses.

Hazard Assessment

The supervisor conducts and documents a hazard assessment to determine if employees are exposed to eye impact hazards (see SPPM 2.60).


Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) assists supervisors and employees evaluating eye impact hazards and determining if safety eyewear is required.


The employee purchases the prescription safety glasses from his or her eye care professional.

Note: WSU does not pay for the eye examination. Either the employee or the employee’s insurance incurs this expense.

Upon receiving the safety glasses, the employee submits the receipt to her or his department for reimbursement.

The employing department processes the purchase of safety glasses as a “confirming purchase” (see BPPM 70.20).

Safety Eyewear Specifications

Prescription safety eyewear must be labeled or include documentation to indicate that it meets the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1989, .1998, and .2003 specifications.

All prescription safety glasses must be equipped with affixed or detachable side shields.

Revisions:  Reviewed July 2013; Nov. 2001 (Rev. 41); Oct. 1991 (Rev. 9); Sept. 1987 (Rev. 4*); Feb. 1987 (Rev. 3).