Safety Goggles Explained

Worker wearing safety goggles and respirator

When it comes to eye protection, safety goggles are the only option that provide a complete seal around the eyes. This means that they are well suited for environments where hazards such as chemical splash or a high level of airborne particles are prevalent. Goggles are available in many different styles, each being specific to different work environments. Features such as tint, lining and ventilation can all determine whether a goggle is suitable for the task at hand. We've simplified it all so that you can make an informed purchasing decision.

Want some professional advice? Contact your local ATOM Safety representative.

Safety Goggle Structure Goggles are available in a range of styles and models. Below are variations of consider when making your purchase. Always take into account how well the goggle fits to your face. The more comfortable and easy to wear it is, the more likely you and your team will be safety complaint.

Safety goggle structure

Are Safety Goggles the Right Fit For You? Read more on Eye and Face Protection.

Safety Goggle Impact Rating Safety goggles must be impact rated to provide any impact protection. Impact rating is determined by how well the goggles can withstand the impact of a weighted ball. Goggles must not dislodge of become damaged in anyway on impact. The maximum rating safety goggles can achieve is medium, as they do not cover the entire face. The below table specifies the requirements for each rating.

Safety Goggle Impact Rating

Goggle Lens Tint Selecting the right lens tint for your working environment protects your eyes and can increase your visions clarity. We've broken down the most popular goggle tints to help you make the right decision.

Goggle Lens Tint

Clear Lens Ideal for indoor work where there is no glare. A clear lens does not produce a colour bias and therefore provides true colour recognition.

Grey/Smoke Lens To be used in outdoor applications, the grey lens protects against natural glare and assist with colour recognition.

Amber Lens A yellow tone, ideal for low light environments both in and outdoors. An amber lens enhances light and contrast to improve visibility.

Mirror Lens Ideal for outdoor applications. A mirror lens protects against both natural and artificial glare. They can also dissipate heat.

Brown Lens A brown lens tint is an ideal 'middle ground'. It provides the glare protection, but also improved contracts. This is why they are known as the indoor/outdoor tint.

Identifying Your Goggles Rating & Standards You can identify your goggles ratings and other information by checking the markings on the lens. Use the below key as a guide.

Identifying Your Goggles Rating & Standards

Goggle Lens Coatings Protect your lens, or improve usability with lens coatings. The two most common lens coatings are anti-scratch and anti-fog. Which coating, in which combination you choose will be determined upon your working environment and job task.

Common combinations include:

  • Anti-scratch on both the inside and outside of the lens

  • Anti-fog on both the inside and the outside of the lens

  • Anti-fog on the inside, and anti-scratch on the outside of the lens

An anti-scratch coating protects the lens from abrasion, keeping them clearer for longer. Anti-scratch coatings are most beneficial in dusty or dirty environments.

Anti-fog coating stops the lens fogging in humidity or varying temperatures. Fogging severely reduces visibility, so an anti-fog coating is essential when safety goggles need to be worn for long period of time.

Goggle Lens Coatings

Safety Goggle Lens Material Impact rated lenses can be made out a of variety of materials, but the two most common are polycarbonate and acetate.

Polycarbonate is much stronger than many other plastics, it can be rated up to high impact. Due to it's lightweight construction, heat resistance and optically clarity, polycarbonate is one of the most popular lens materials.

Acetate, unlike polycarbonate, can only be rated to medium impact. Although it is not as strong, acetate itself resists abrasion increasing its optical clarity.

Safety Goggle Lining You have three choices when it comes to your goggle lining - open cell foam, closed cell foam and no foam.

Open cell foam absorbs moisture, providing comfort in hot and humid conditions. Due to this, the open cell foam can also collect dirt, grime and other contaminants that can make them unhygienic.

Closed cell foam does not collect dirt and grime and is less likely to absorb any moisture so it provides better hygiene compared to open cell foam.

No foam liner provides an uninterrupted seal which adapts better to the face than foam. There is a reduced risk of any moisture absorption providing the most hygienic option.

Safety Goggle Venting The venting option you choose will relate directly to your working environment. Vents are ideal for air flow and reduce the chance of fogging, but create gaps where hazards can enter the protected eye area. Read on for the three venting choices.

Direct vent goggles have multiple vents around the goggle which assists with air flow and reduce lens fogging. Direct vent goggles are mainly used for impact protection and are not suitable for liquid, dust or vapour protection.

Indirect vent goggles utilise slightly covered vents, this provides better protection from liquid splash and dusts in comparison to direct vents, whilst still allowing air flow reducing lens fog.

Top vent closed goggles will have direct or indirect vents on the lower half of the frame, but will have closed vents on the upper half of the frame. This style provides protection against any potential splash to the top of the goggle.

Closed vent goggles are completely sealed and don’t have any vents. They provide excellent protection from impact, splash, dust and vapours. Due to the lack of airflow, these goggles fog up quickly so an anti-fog lens is necessary.

When dealing with hazardous vapour, always use a closed vent goggle.

Lower Face Guard Certain styles of goggle have a lower face guard option for complete face protection. These provide protection against potential splashes and dust whilst the vents allow for airflow, comfort and ease of communication. It is important to note that these, like all other safety glasses and goggles are medium impact only.

RX Insert?

What is an RX Insert? Some safety goggles are designed to fit straight over prescription glasses. For those styles that don’t, an RX insert is a cost effect alternative. The RX insert is a module that fits to the inside of the goggle and allows the wearer to insert prescription lenses.

Read more on Safety Glasses

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