When Should You Wear Safety Goggles Instead of Safety Glasses?

Safety Glasses Versus Safety Goggles

Safety glasses do a great job providing impact protection; however, they do have a few weaknesses. Safety glasses usually have small gaps around the lenses that can make your eyes vulnerable, especially to liquids and dust. Even safety glasses with wraparound lenses cannot provide the same level of protection as a safety goggles.

When you have to contend with splash hazards, airborne dust, and flying debris, safety goggles will prove to be a better option than safety glasses. Safety goggles provide 360-degree protection due to a tight, form-fitting facial seal; something safety glasses cannot offer.

Examples, where safety goggles are the better option, include metal grinding, dusty conditions, chemical exposure and more. All of these situations have a higher-than-normal chance of a foreign object getting into your eyes from the side. Only goggles with a complete facial seal can protect you from these potential hazards.

When To Wear Safety Goggles

You should always evaluate your workplace for potential eye hazards so you can select the appropriate safety equipment. Safety goggles should be worn when the following risks are present:

  • High-velocity debris and blunt impacts
  • Splashing liquids and airborne droplets
  • Airborne dust particles
  • Caustic vapors

    Types Of Safety Goggles

    Safety goggles can provide more than enough protection from these hazards. However, you need to choose the correct type of safety goggle. Common types of goggles include:

  • Direct vent: These goggles have multiple perforations around their body to promote air flow, which reduces lens fogging. Direct vent goggles are primarily used for impact protection. Do not use this type of goggle for liquid, dust or caustic vapor protection.
  • Indirect vent: This style of goggle uses covered vents to increase air flow. Since the vents are covered, they provide better protection from liquid splash and dust. However, they shouldn’t be used around caustic vapors. Even though the covered vents help with airflow, indirect vent goggles will fog up more often. I recommend you look for models with dual-pane lenses or an anti-fog coating.
  • Non-vented: This style of goggle is completely sealed and doesn’t have any vents. They provide excellent protection from impact, splash, dust and caustic vapors. Due to the lack of vents, these goggles tend to fog up quickly; an anti-fog lens is necessary.

    Choosing the right goggle for the job ensures you’re eyes are protected.