Those who work with tools need to become familiar with how to shield their face from any number of potential hazards. Preventable injuries occur when tool operators take risks, so it’s especially important to wear their facial safety gear at all times — even for quick and simple jobs.
Whether it’s intense heat or foreign objects that pose a threat, hobbyists and professionals alike should keep the following in mind before selecting face protection gear.
The eyes are sensitive and vulnerable when exposed to dangerous elements. Selecting the right safety eyewear is the best way to protect the eyes without sacrificing a person’s visibility. When searching for safety goggles, an ANSI Z87.1 certification is recommended because it can protect the eyes from even the most intense accidents.
Even those who aren’t working under extremely hazardous circumstances, such as those that may cause optical radiation, won’t regret stepping up their eye protection. For those working with specific tools, such as welders, they may need specialty goggles designed specifically for their specialty.
Shields ensure the whole face is protected from flying particles and heat exposure alike, so look for the standard ANSI Z87.1 certification recommended for goggles. Usually, people will use face shields for the following activities:
- Medical procedures
- Chemical work
Anyone who works with caustic liquids (e.g., acids, molten metal, etc.), chemical gases/liquids, or light radiation should have a face shield either as a necessary or an extra precaution. Not all people who work with these hazardous substances are required to wear a face shield, but they likely should anyway. Face shields need to fit comfortably on the face, so pick headgear that can be adjusted so the suspension of the shield can be around 3/4″ above the eyebrows.
Those who wear glasses to see will need to find a way to protect their eyes without compromising their eyesight. Regular prescription glasses will not protect eyes from damaging elements, so hobbyists will need to find safety glasses or goggles that can be placed over their standard glasses. Even when working with small hand tools, it’s important to wear the proper facial gear.
Those who would prefer to wear just one set of eyewear can buy safety glasses in their prescription. There are also Bifocal Safety Glasses or Stick-On Bifocals that can be used by those who have reading glasses. Both of these solutions are fast fixes that can be added and removed quickly.
Look for safety glasses with lens coatings because they tend to last longer. These are designed to resist scratches and fog so that operators can ensure proper visibility at all times. (Those who are working in an environment with varying temperatures especially need to consider the impact of fog.)
If going from indoors to outdoors and back again, there are photochromic lenses that will darken when in outdoor lighting. Operators should be looking for side protection from their face shields. This is so they don’t risk an injury if they quickly turn their face. Select a lift-front face shield for jobs that require a lot of changeovers. This is because the shield can be easily raised or dropped as the task requires.
Shopping for protective gear have a lot of factors to keep in mind. Facial safety gear is so important to the successful completion of the job. Taking the time to research and prepare is the key to finding equipment that is both comfortable and effective.