Eye and Face Protection - When, Where and How

When Should You Wear Eye and Face Protection? Impact rated eye or face protection must be worn whenever there is risk of an outside contaminant, whether it is visible or not, making contact with the eye or face and causing damage. Projectiles, dust, chemicals, heat and extreme light can all potentially harm the eye.

Examples of when impact rated, eye protection must be worn are:

  • During sawing, chipping, grinding, machining or drilling

  • When there is potential exposure to chemicals or chemical splash

  • When degreasing, plating or handling acids or chemicals

  • When exposed to UV radiation or intense light

  • During welding, casting or hot dipping

  • In high heat scenarios

  • When there is risk for projectiles or dust particles

To find out what eye protection is best for your workplace, contact your local ATOM Safety representative.

Types of Eye & Face Protection

There are four options when it comes to eye and face protection. Which one you choose will depend on the work being performed and the amount of protection required.

Option One: Safety Glasses

Safety glasses or spectacles are impact rated glasses that protect the eyes. They are ideal for protection from head on, and some cases side on impact. The maximum protection safety glasses can offer is medium impact.

Option Two: Safety Goggles

Safety goggles offer much the same protection as safety glasses, but create a seal around the eyes offering greater protection from side on impacts and minimise the likelihood of small particles or hazardous liquids making their way into the eye. The maximum protection safety goggles can offer is medium impact.

Option Three: Full Face Shields

The only way to achieve high or extra high impact protection is to wear a full face shield. The shield protects the full face from front on and side on impact. Examples of where a face shield should be worn include grinding, chipping and the use of critical chemicals. In most cases face shields should be worn in conjunction with safety glasses or goggles to provide a double layer of protection. This assures the best possible guard against what could be multiple hazards.

Option Four: Welding Helmets/Shields

To be used for welding tasks, welding helmets are specially designed to protect the face and eyes from the flash, heat and debris produced by welding.

Want to know more? Contact your local ATOM Safety representative.


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ATOM acknowledge the traditional custodians of the lands in which we operate in Australia. We recognise their continuing connection to land, waters and community. We pay our respects to them, their cultures; and to elders both past, present and emerging.