Work protective goggles

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Updated on 16/06/24 by Erika C.

Protective goggles: indispensable PPE for eyesight 

Protective goggles belong to the second category of personal protective equipment. They are essential when doing delicate jobs involving contact with chemicals, but they can also be useful during DIY activities.

Even when dealing with splinters and dust, goggles guarantee optimal eye protection.

 

Protective goggles PPE standard

 

The reference standard for work spectacles is EN 166/ CE en166f, according to which the goggles must be:

  •  
  • free of image-deforming effects
  • robust
  • blister-free
  • resistant to impact, burning, corrosion and disinfection
  • free of protrusions or irregularities
  • non-toxic and odourless
  • adjustable

 

In addition, each model must bear the marking associated with CE certification, and the impact and particle resistance is regulated as follows: 

  •  
  • F → lenses: low-velocity particles, frame: low energy shocks
  • B → lenses: medium speed particles, frame: medium energy shocks
  • FT → lenses: low-speed particles with extreme temperature, frame: low-energy shocks with extreme temperature
  • K → abrasion resistance by fine particles
  • N → lens anti-fogging properties

 

Any other relevant information is, in any case, indicated on the lenses

 

 

Legenda occhiali da lavoro

 

All safety glasses can eventually filter out UV, infrared and solar rays; however, they do not protect against welding flashes. In this case, a welder's mask should be used.

 


Types

Safety glasses are divided into 3 main types:

  • with mask
  • with arms or temples
  • face shields

Mask-type safety glasses

Mask goggles offer greater protection than ordinary goggles, as they protect both sides of the face. This feature is essential, especially when dealing with dangerous or contagious substances; it is no coincidence that these types of goggles are also known as sanitary protective goggles. 

occhiali di protezione a mascheraThese goggles can be adjusted using a flat elastic band that wraps around the head. Despite their large size, they offer a not inconsiderable advantage that we will discuss in more detail in the following section.

 

Goggles over goggles | Protective goggles over goggles

Goggles also allow protective goggles to be worn over one's glasses, but the elastic may clash with the temples and not guarantee the desired comfort.

Those who do not compromise on comfort may alternatively opt for this design:

 

occhiali sovrapponibili

 

The temples of the goggles comfortably overlap the temples of the prescription glasses without oppressing and squeezing to the detriment of the wearer.

 

Protective goggles with temples

Protective goggles with temples (or with rubber temples) are among the most popular with users because they are light and comfortable, but unlike the first type mentioned, they do not offer side protection of the face either.

occhiali di protezione con stanghe

For this reason, they are recommended for do-it-yourself work or jobs where one is in contact with medium risks because the protection of the eyes is guaranteed, but not of the surrounding areas.

 

Face shield | Face visor

Face shields protect the entire face, which is why they are recommended in cases where you need protection against:

  • splashes
  • shrapnel
  • sparks
  • heat
  • chemical substances

schermo facciale

With a design similar to the masks used for welding activities, this type offers optimal protection and is widely used for work environments with more significant risks.

 


  Lens characteristics

 

Lenses are an essential component of safety goggles.

They are sometimes underestimated by giving more importance to the frame, but it is not known that several studies are also hidden behind the colouring.

For example, the clear lens is suitable for the most common risks, indoors and in good visibility conditions, while the other colours are classified as follows:

  • Yellow → low light situations, presence of mist or fog. Colouration is also indicated underground, such as in mines.
  • Grey → strongly lit environments. UV and IR (infrared) absorption. Ideal for work with the risk of glare
  • Brown → brightly lit environments where light causes eye fatigue. Ideal for enhancing contrast in foggy conditions
  • Blue, red, silver, gold (mirrored) → ideal against bright sunlight with excellent results even after prolonged use.
  • Blue, green, silver (Revo) → ideal for situations where the light is particularly intense and unpleasant.
  • Grey, brown (polarised) → in case of high glare caused by reflective surfaces. Ability to let through only the necessary light
  • Weld 3 → ideal for glare protection generated by braze welding and gas welding activities
  • weld 5 → gas welding and oxyfuel welding

Furthermore, in the case of sunglasses, the darker the lenses, the more suitable they are for high sunlight situations and vice versa.

 


Sunglasses Protection Index

 

Protective glasses with sunglass lenses are not all the same, and in fact, the European standard EN ISO 12312-1:2015 classifies glasses into 5 categories ranging from 0 to 4 according to their ability to reduce brightness:

  • transparent or slightly obscured lenses → category 0 → 80-100% → minimal light reduction
  • slightly darkened lenses → category 1 → 43-80 % → limited reduction
  • medium dark lenses → category 2 → 18-43 % → good protection
  • dark lenses → category 3 → 8-17 % → high protection
  • very dark lenses → category 4 -> 3-8 % → very high protection

Finally, we feel it is important to remember that goggles categories have nothing to do with the degree of UV protection.

 


  Lens treatment

 

  • Anti-scratch treatment → hardening treatment applied to the surface of the lenses to produce scratch-resistant safety goggles.

 

  • Anti-fog treatment → ensuring condensation dispersion on the lens surface during the transition from a cold to a warm environment.

 

  • UV400 protection → protection against UV radiation beyond the conventional blocking (380 nm)

 

  • Mirrored treatment → capable of allowing greater lens reflection on the lens itself, reducing the amount of light towards the eyes.

 

  • Revo treatment → multilayer coating on the outer surface of the lens, allowing a very high degree of light reflection

 

  • Hydrophobic treatment → carried out on the lens surface through a vacuum process that creates a thin, transparent film.

 

  • Hydrophobic and oleophobic treatment → combining both water-repellent and oil-repellent functions.

 

  • Polarising filter → reduces eye fatigue caused by glare sources and glass or reflective surfaces.

 

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