Types of Eye and Face Protection

Selecting the most suitable eye and face protection consideration the following elements:

  • Ability to protect against specific workplace hazards.
  • Should fit properly and be reasonably comfortable to wear.
  • Should provide unrestricted vision and movement.
  • Should be durable and cleanable.

Some of the most common types of eye and face protection include the following:

  • Safety spectacles. These protective eyeglasses have safety frames constructed of metal or plastic and impact resistant lenses. Side shields are available on some models.
  • Goggles. These are tight-fitting eye protection that completely cover the eyes, eye sockets and the facial area immediately surrounding the eyes and provide protection from impact, dust and splashes. Some goggles will fit over corrective lenses.
  • Welding shields. Constructed of vulcanized fiber or fiberglass and fitted with a filtered lens, welding shields protect eyes from burns caused by infrared or intense radiant light; they also protect both the eyes and face from flying sparks, metal spatter and slag chips produced during welding, brazing, soldering and cutting operations. Welding shields requires filter lenses to have a shade number appropriate to protect against the specific hazards of the work being performed in order to protect against harmful light radiation.
  • Laser safety goggles. These specialty goggles protect against intense concentrations of light produced by lasers. The type of laser safety goggles an employer chooses will depend upon the equipment and operating conditions in the workplace.
  • Face shields. These transparent sheets of plastic extend from the eyebrows to below the chin and across the entire width of the employee’s head. Some are polarized for glare protection.
  • Face shields protect against nuisance dusts and potential splashes or sprays of hazardous liquids but will not provide adequate protection against impact hazards. Face shields used in combination with goggles or safety spectacles will provide additional protection against impact hazards.