Safety Glasses: Choosing the Right Goggles and Eyeshields
Eye Protection: Your essential guide to choosing.
In the eyes of the law
Under the terms of the 1992 Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations, eye and face protection must be worn in hazardous areas and employers are required to provide suitable eye protection to employees who could be exposed to risk.
Choosing the right eye protection
When choosing eye protection, factors other than the protection level need to be considered. These include interaction with other PPE such as ear defenders and respirators. The working environment should be taken into account i.e. will misting be a problem? Wearer comfort and individual fitting also require careful consideration.
Full Face Protection
A full face visor offers the best protection in working areas where high speed flying particles or chemical splashes are a risk, they give a wide area of protection and remain mist free through rapid temperature changes.
Chemical Splash Protection
Where chemical splashes and vapour are a problem, full eye enclosure is the answer - this means unvented goggles. Full face visors should also be considered - with chinguards to protect from upward splashes.
For Impact Protection the speed of likely impact is the main consideration, the higher the velocity the more likely that safety glasses will be dislodged, so goggles or visors may be the answer in some circumstances.
See the Markings Chart which will show you what to look for.
- Are you wearing other items of Safety Glasses or PPE which may affect the fit of the goggles? (respirators or hearing protectors for example)
- Will you be working in a warm environment where the lenses will mist up quickly? You may have to consider a different ventilation system or a coated anti mist lens - some styles offer both.
- A good fit is essential - If the full protection potential of the goggle is to be achieved. Many modern goggles have preformed frames which reflect the shape of the wearer's face, others have front mounted straps to pull the goggle round the wearer's face.
- Comfort is important - If you're wearing a piece of equipment for long periods comfort is very important. Make sure that the goggles you select have broad soft headstraps with sufficient adjustment. Wide, soft facial flanges which fit the face correctly avoid chafing and soreness.