Types of Eye and Face Protection

Every day, employees are exposed to hazards that may cause temporary or permanent injury to their eyes or face. Depending on the type of industry your business is in, your employees may be at risk from liquid chemicals or acid, molten metal, particles flying through the air, radiation, or chemical gases and vapors.

While many of these hazards are necessary to perform certain jobs, putting your employees at risk is not. By providing them with the right eye and face protection while performing their tasks, they can protect their eyesight and face from such hazards. Here are the different types of eye and face protection equipment available.


One of the most common types of eye protection is goggles. These will cover the worker’s eyes and eye sockets, as well as the facial area around their eyes. Goggles must always be tight fitting, and not allow any holes or empty spaces between the edge of the goggles and their eyes. Goggles can help keep dust, debris and splashes out, as well as being made of strong enough plastic to protect their eyes from immediate impact. There are special goggles made to fit over corrective lenses if your workers need their glasses to see during business operations.

Laser Safety Goggles

In addition to the regular goggles, there are also laser safety goggles. These are specifically meant for workers who are at risk of laser exposure. If they are working with laser tools or equipment, they can wear laser safety goggles. Regular goggles don’t typically include protection against laser exposure, where a higher concentration of light is involved. However, if they are working with debris and laser exposure, get goggles that protect them from both.

Welding Shields

If your employees work with welding construction projects, they should be wearing a welding shield. These are made of sturdy fiberglass or vulcanized fiber, and include a filtered lens. Their eyes are protected by radiant light, and prevent them from getting burned. The eyes and face are also protected from sparks and metal splatter, which is very common when welding metal pieces together. For anyone using welding, cutting, or soldering techniques, the welding shields are required. OSHA also requires them to have a shade for protecting against light radiation that could be harmful to employees.

Face Shields

To protect the face, you can also provide your employees with face shields. Face shields typically go from the eyebrows to below the chin, as opposed to goggles that only cover the eyes. There are different types of face shields, depending on what their face is being protected from. Some is to protect from sparks or flying debris, while others are polarized to reduce glare. They are made of transparent plastic so employees can see through the shields, but splattering of hazardous liquids or chemicals will not burn their face.

Remember, if an employee gets injured, even with eye and face protection, they should be covered by a workers’ compensation insurance policy.