Safety glasses/goggles and face protection available and worn as appropriate

There are several types of eye and face protection (goggles, mask, face shield or other splatter guard) that should be worn in a laboratory based on risk assessment.  For example, goggles are use for anticipated splashes or sprays of infectious or other hazardous materials while safety glasses provide protection against impact. Selection of appropriate eye protection is an important part of safety and  must always be made by assessing the risks that researchers are exposed to.

Eye and face protection must be decontaminated before reuse. Persons who wear contact lenses in laboratories should also wear eye protection.


  • BMBL 6th ed. No. HHS Publication No. (CDC) 300859
  • NIH Guidelines for Research Involving Recombinant or Synthetic Nucleic Acid Molecules. April 2019.
  • MSU Biosafety and Security Manual
  • MSU Bloodborne Exposure Control Plan
  • MSU Chemical Hygiene Plan 5.3.1
  • OSHA Standard 1910.1450 App A

Corrective actions:

Select appropriate eye and face protection and educate lab personnel about their use. More information can be found on the EHS website.

Typical activities that would present the reasonable probability of eye injury include: 

  • Pipetting 
  • Opening centrifuge tubes 
  • Using syringes 
  • Mixing/vortexing 
  • Preparing solutions 
  • Titrations 
  • Pouring 

Always wear safety glasses with side shields or goggles when handling hazardous chemicals or infectious agents. If there is a chance of a splash or spray, including when manipulating cryogens, a full-face protection shield is recommended. Personal eyeglasses that are not Z87.1 certified do not qualify as safety glasses. 

Check the integrity of lenses and plastic straps periodically and replace them when necessary.

For decontamination wash eye protection with soap and water and disinfect with 70% ethanol. Alternatively use EPA registered (list N) disinfection wipes for decontaminating eye protection. 

For some videos on the effectiveness of various eye protection, see below: