Eye Protection Equipment

Safety Glasses, Safety Goggles and Face Shields

Good laboratory safety practice is necessary for the efficient and productive functioning of any lab. Eye protection is needed where there is the possibility of chemical, environmental, radiological or mechanical irritants and hazards. Eyeshields, also called safety glasses, goggles, or spectacles, not only provide protection against flying debris and chemical splashes, but may also protect against visible and near visible light or radiation from UV rays, depending on the lens material. The most popular lens material for safety eyewear is polycarbonate. This material has less than half the weight of glass making the eyewear more comfortable to wear. Polycarbonate lenses are also more impact-resistant than glass lenses and do not shatter. However, as polycarbonate is a much softer lens material than glass it is often available with an scratch-resistant coating. Modern eyeshield designs offer anti-slip nose bridges, anti-fog lenses, and coatings, which make them resistant to acids, caustics, and hydrocarbons.
Protection is available in three main designs:

  • Safety glasses or eye shields are used where there is a potential of eyes being contaminated by environmental hazards such as chemical splashes or sprays, particles and irritants. Modern eye shields are available with adjustable temple lengths and angle adjustments, pliable, adjustable nose-pads and a variety of ventilation options ensuring the best possible fit and performance. As well as anti-scratch coating lenses can be coated to prevent fogging or optimize lens clarity. Side shields can be fitted and offer additional protection from the side.
  • Goggles may be used as a substitute for safety glasses with side shields. The adjustable elasticated strap used in place of the side arms offer a more secure fit in applications where the individual me be mobile or inverted.
  • Face shields or safety visors are used when facial skin protection is needed. They are usually made from polycarbonate, which unless coated do not provide protection against chemical splash. For use with chemicals it is best to use an acetate face shield. Face shields should be used in conjunction with eye protection. A face shield is not a substitute for the safety glasses or goggles.

Eyewear is only one component of laboratory safety and personal protection. Eye washes are just as important for eye protection. Furthermore, Sigma offers the full range of protective gear and accessories.