1. #1
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    Default who pays for scba corrective lenses?

    we recently took on a individual that needs glasses all the time , we can get the corrective lenses for a scott mask for $84.00 , our city seems to think they need not pay these, anyone know of any laws etc. to help with there decision

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    Not sure of any laws about it.

    However my department does provide masks, and corrective lenses if the wearer needs them.

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    Quote Originally Posted by matt1066 View Post
    anyone know of any laws etc. to help with there decision
    As a matter of fact, yes..... OSHA says the employer supplies them. Look in 29 CFR 1910.134.....It's in there somewhere, I can't look right now.
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Buff is correct. My company pays for them for members in need through our Relief funds. I imagine municipal fire departments would have to as well.

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    The department will pick up the cost for anyone with eyeglasses. Also check NFPA 1500 7.13.4 & 7.13.5.

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    OSHA does NOT say that the employer provides them. In 1910.134, they say:
    1910.134(g)(1)(ii)

    If an employee wears corrective glasses or goggles or other personal protective equipment, the employer shall ensure that such equipment is worn in a manner that does not interfere with the seal of the facepiece to the face of the user.
    OSHA actually specifically states that employers are not required to provide corrective glasses in the new PPE standard.

    My question is this, have you ever tried the fit test with your lenses on?
    I can easily pass a fit test with my glasses on.
    The opinions I post to these forums do not represent any entity to which I am affiliated.

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    My dept pays for them if a FF is req'd to wear eye glasses.
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    I wear glasses all of the time and my fire company has issued me the lens holders that go into the mask, but I've been told that purchasing the lenses are quite expensive and I don't want to spend that much money on them if I'm not going to be able to see anything when in a smoke-filled atmosphere anyway. It would definitely come in handy with the HazMat Team as well as some of the time when responding with my fire company.

    So, we have to purchase them on our own? As a volunteer, the township pays for most of our equipment and such so, with that being said, does the member still have to pay for the lenses if they want them?
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

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    Call it legalese, but any lawyer worth his salt could prove that the firefighter cannot wear an SCBA in a safe manner without the additional equipment, therefore the municipality or department, or whomever, would be responsible for this purchase. They are not required to purchase corrective lenses for any other purpose. Safety glasses are a cat of a different color because regular corrective lenses can serve this purpose if they are so designed.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccfdblehman View Post
    OSHA does NOT say that the employer provides them. In 1910.134, they say:


    OSHA actually specifically states that employers are not required to provide corrective glasses in the new PPE standard.

    My question is this, have you ever tried the fit test with your lenses on?
    I can easily pass a fit test with my glasses on.
    Actually, The standard changed effective 1/08. Employers are now required to provide the spectacle kits for SCBA face mask. I do not have the standard at my fingertips, however it is now stated in the protective eyeware/safety glasses section. There was also an article in one of the trade magazines earlier in the year that discussed this. Cost per member is about $100 that require the kits.

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    Quote Originally Posted by ccfdblehman View Post
    My question is this, have you ever tried the fit test with your lenses on? I can easily pass a fit test with my glasses on.
    Why would you want to?
    "Loyalty Above all Else. Except Honor."

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    Default corrective lenses

    I didn't even ask my dept if they would pay for the lenses or the scba insert, I just went down to the local toy store (fire equipment dealer) and bought the inserts but have yet to purchase lenses but won't ask the dept to pay for those either. My opinion is that it's not their fault I need glasses.


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    Goshen Fire Dept.
    Waterford, CT

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    1910.132(h)(1)

    Except as provided by paragraphs (h)(2) through (h)(6) of this section, the protective equipment, including personal protective equipment (PPE), used to comply with this part, shall be provided by the employer at no cost to employees.

    1910.132(h)(2)

    The employer is not required to pay for non-specialty safety-toe protective footwear (including steel-toe shoes or steel-toe boots) and non-specialty prescription safety eyewear, provided that the employer permits such items to be worn off the job-site.

    These are new changes to the OSHA PPE standard. PPE that meets the standard is required to be provided by your employer. If you choose to use a PPE item that is more expensive and still meets the standard, you can do that at your own cost.

    IANAL, but to me, SCBA lens holders would be considered a PPE item and fall under the specialty prescription safety eyewear program. Specialty safety eyewear is required to be provided by the employer. Non-speciality eyewear is the typical safety glasses that you could wear home or off the job site. Because SCBA frames are useless unless you are wearing an SCBA they are a specialty item.

    This is a change that is new as of 01/08.

    If you live in a State where OSHA has no jurisdiction over municipal fire departments, this argument won't help you.

    NOTE: There are a variety of States without a State OSHA equivalent. In these States, Fed OSHA is the enforcer of safety laws in that State. The OSHA law specifically exempts State and Municipal Government from OSHA jurisdiction. If you have a State OSHA agency, they typically apply Federal OSHA regulations like this against municipal agencies. Consult your City Attorney regarding your specific circumstances.

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    Quote Originally Posted by PineyPower View Post
    I wear glasses all of the time and my fire company has issued me the lens holders that go into the mask, but I've been told that purchasing the lenses are quite expensive and I don't want to spend that much money on them if I'm not going to be able to see anything when in a smoke-filled atmosphere anyway.
    Two things...

    #1 The lenses are as cheap as your optometrist can make them. The lenses in my SCBA insert are just plastic with an anti-scratch coating. If memory serves me correctly (no promises), they were no more than 50 bucks. I imagine that some places could do them for cheaper.

    #2 You're right, it's smoky when you go into the fire. But while you are in there, the fire usually goes out. That's when the SCBA inserts come in handy. I consider them one of the best firefighting purchases I've ever made. Call me old fashioned, but if the guys without glasses get to see 20/20 while wearing a mask, I want to also.

  15. #15
    sbkaiser
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    Our department pays for the purchase of lens and the inserts. It is not that expensive and allows our guys to work more safely because they can see.

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    My department pays for lenses inside your mask. We issue masks too.

    We update perscriptions every other year or so.
    Jason Knecht
    Assistant Chief
    Altoona Fire Dept.
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    Quote Originally Posted by cozmosis View Post
    Two things...

    #1 The lenses are as cheap as your optometrist can make them. The lenses in my SCBA insert are just plastic with an anti-scratch coating. If memory serves me correctly (no promises), they were no more than 50 bucks. I imagine that some places could do them for cheaper.

    #2 You're right, it's smoky when you go into the fire. But while you are in there, the fire usually goes out. That's when the SCBA inserts come in handy. I consider them one of the best firefighting purchases I've ever made. Call me old fashioned, but if the guys without glasses get to see 20/20 while wearing a mask, I want to also.
    Thanks for the information. My company issued me the mask inserts and told me I could get the lenses for them if I wanted, but I would have to purchase them myself with my own money. I don't have a problem with that as long as it's a reasonable price and I'm going to be getting good use out of them.

    1. I'll have to talk with my eye doctor and see what they can do and definitely find out if they have cheap, plastic, anti-scratch lenses that I would be able to get. That would be the best bet for myself.

    2. Yeah, I agree that seeing as best as you can would prove very essential. I just didn't have any information on the lens inserts so I didn't know if they were worth it or not. My eyesight is horrible so having these for the few times I do put on a mask would be a great asset to me and my company and everyone else, I believe.

    Thanks again for the info. It will come in handy one day.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

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    Quote Originally Posted by PineyPower View Post
    Thanks for the information. My company issued me the mask inserts and told me I could get the lenses for them if I wanted, but I would have to purchase them myself with my own money. I don't have a problem with that as long as it's a reasonable price and I'm going to be getting good use out of them.

    1. I'll have to talk with my eye doctor and see what they can do and definitely find out if they have cheap, plastic, anti-scratch lenses that I would be able to get. That would be the best bet for myself.

    2. Yeah, I agree that seeing as best as you can would prove very essential. I just didn't have any information on the lens inserts so I didn't know if they were worth it or not. My eyesight is horrible so having these for the few times I do put on a mask would be a great asset to me and my company and everyone else, I believe.

    Thanks again for the info. It will come in handy one day.
    If you are someone that has bi-focals in your regular glasses, you dont need to have them in your mask. I am one of those and I had a single vision lens put in for me. I dont do a lot of reading (lol) with my mask on. We are in the process of changing masks, that take a different kit so I will be getting a new setup and my FD will pay for the whole thing.
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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    Piney Power
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    Quote Originally Posted by Fitguy51 View Post
    If you are someone that has bi-focals in your regular glasses, you dont need to have them in your mask. I am one of those and I had a single vision lens put in for me. I dont do a lot of reading (lol) with my mask on. We are in the process of changing masks, that take a different kit so I will be getting a new setup and my FD will pay for the whole thing.
    Well, I wear my glasses all the time, but I don't need them for reading. I was originally prescribed glasses for being near sighted. My glasses aren't bifocals, though.
    Pinewald Pioneer Vol. Fire Co. No. 1 Sta. 20
    "Piney Power"

    Berkeley Emergency Response Team (B.E.R.T./Haz-Mat/WMD/CBRNE) Station 85
    Berkeley Township, New Jersey 08721

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    Our dept. pays for 1 pair per year except in the case of loss or damage then you could get 2.

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    I bought my own simply because I wanted to see clearly when packed up. The environment may alter that a bit with smoke but its nice to see conditions clearly before going in.

    I think I have $65 in the insert and another $45 in the lenses. Easily a no-brainer purchase.

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    This is a debatable issue?? FD provide gloves, boots, helmet? FD wants you in SCBA but can't spend $150 so you can SEE?

    I just ordered the inserts and turned in the receipt for reimb. We operate on $12000/yr so not a high dollar operation.

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    My department pays for lenses inside your mask. We issue masks too.
    Our organization supplied the Scott in-mask eyeglass frames for me. I paid to have the lenses made and was then reimbursed by my organization. Every Fire Fighter is issued their own individual Scott face piece (mask) and a mask bag. Fire Fighters are mask fit tested annually.
    Last edited by joejoe33; 09-22-2008 at 08:18 PM.
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    If you leave them in your mask how would they get lost or damaged?
    Stephen J Bourassa
    Latham FD (NY)
    member since 1969
    challenge competitor since 1993

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