Direct Venting

Last updated: January 6, 2019

What Does Direct Venting Mean?

Direct venting is a property of some safety goggles that refers specifically to those with vents placed directly into the front of the goggles.

The purpose of direct venting is to provide the wearer with a higher degree of comfort. The vents allow the goggles to maintain breathability and airflow through the apparatus, which prevents the buildup of moisture. The proper use of safety eyewear in the United States is governed and defined by ANSI standard z287.1, a voluntary consensus standard.

The idea of direct venting is also used in other contexts, such as with reference to indoor combustion equipment (e.g. a boiler) that has its own internal system for intaking air from and exhausting air to the outside of the building the equipment is located in.

Safeopedia Explains Direct Venting

Direct venting goggles are used in situations in which workers will not be exposed to splash or vapor hazards and in which they will not be exposed to particulates small enough to fit through the vent holes (which must stop all particulates 1.5 millimeters in diameter or larger). In addition to its breathability, this type of goggle is often less expensive compared to goggles with a more complex form of venting, such as indirect venting.

Direct venting is not appropriate for use in situations where the worker is at risk of exposure to liquid splash hazards. In this case, indirectly vented goggles that utilize hooded vents may be used. If vapor hazards are also a problem, non-vented goggles must be used. In cases where workers must be protected against exposure to a gas, a gas-proof goggle or other protection system must be used instead.

In work environments in which employees may be exposed to eye trauma, the selection and provision of the proper type of goggle forms part of an employer’s general duty to ensure workplace safety for employees. In the United States and many other jurisdictions, the employer is obligated to provide employees with adequate personal protective equipment (PPE) in all situations in which such equipment is necessary to protect employee safety. The determination of whether direct venting or another type of goggle is necessary to ensure safety is made as part of the employer’s required due diligence activities, which include a mandatory workplace hazard assessment.


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