When it comes to eye safety, there are some cases in which regular safety glasses will work perfectly for your needs. However, there are cases in which you might want to use safety goggles for complete protection.
So how do you decide between safety glasses and safety goggles? Below is an explanation of the differences.
For a good majority of eye protection needs, you’ll probably want to wear safety glasses. The safety frames, safety lenses and side shields will provide adequate protection and safety from flying objects. Safety glasses help protect your eyes from objects that could bruise, pierce or damage the eyes and are tested to withstand high impacts. Safety frames are tested to ensure they can withstand the impact from a 1/4” steel ball traveling at 150 fps (feet per second) without dislodging the lenses. Safety lenses for safety glasses are tested to withstand impact from a 1/4” steel ball shot at 150 fps.
While safety glasses protect from high impact, they do not provide complete eye protection from all elements in the air because there are small gaps around the top, sides and bottom. There are many work and sport environments in which safety goggles would be a better choice to provide complete eye protection. Safety googles provide complete 360 degree coverage around the eyes and includes a strap to help hold the goggles securely against your face. They also usually contain breathing or ventilation holes to help with air flow.
In most cases, you won’t wear prescription safety goggles. Most people wear their regular dress prescription glasses or prescription safety glasses with the safety goggles overtop for the added protection. Here’s an example of when you would want to put safety goggles on over your glasses or safety glasses. If you are grinding metal, you don’t want the debris metal fragments to ruin your safety glasses. Especially with glass lenses, the metal fragments can stick, burn and pit the lenses. And with the metal fragments flying through the air, it would be easy for them to whisp around your glasses and into your eyes. With the 360 degree fit around the glasses, your safety glass lenses and your eyes are completely protected.
When trying to decide if you need safety glasses or safety goggles, the answer might be both. But it really depends on if you need a prescription to see clearly and if you are ever dealing with fine particles or debris that can be air borne.