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Eye and Face Protection eTool

Selecting PPE for the Workplace Heat

Heat Hazards

Heat injuries may occur to the eye and face when workers are exposed to high temperatures, splashes of molten metal, or hot sparks. Protect your eyes from heat when workplace operations involve pouring, casting, hot dipping, furnace operations, and other similar activities. Burns to eye and face tissue are the main concern when working with heat hazards.

Working with heat hazards requires eye protection such as goggles or safety spectacles with special-purpose lenses and side shields. However, many heat hazard exposures require the use of a face shield in addition to safety spectacles or goggles. When selecting personal protective equipment, consider the source and intensity of the heat and the type of splashes that may occur in the workplace.

Personal protective equipment devices for heat hazards:

  • Safety Spectacles: Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes from a variety of heat hazards.
  • Safety Goggles: Primary protectors intended to shield the eyes from a variety of heat hazards.
  • Face Shields: Secondary protectors intended to protect the entire face from a variety of heat hazards.

Safety Spectacles

Worker wearing safety spectacles

Safety spectacles with side shields are used as primary protection to shield the eyes from heat hazards. To adequately protect the eyes and face from high temperature exposure, use safety spectacles in combination with a heat-reflective face shield.

The frames of safety spectacles are constructed out of metal and/or plastic and can be fitted with either corrective or plano impact-resistant lenses. Side shields are incorporated into the frames of safety spectacles when workplace operations expose workers to angular impact hazards. Consider each component of safety spectacles when selecting the appropriate device for your workplace.

Figure 1. Plano Lenses

Figure 1. Plano Lenses

The lenses of safety spectacles are designed to resist moderate impact from flying objects and particles.

Plano Lenses:

  • Should be used by workers who do not require vision correction.
  • May be flat or curved.
  • Are available in clear, filtered, or tinted lenses.
  • May include removable lenses.
Figure 2. Prescription Lenses

Figure 2. Prescription Lenses

Prescription (Rx) Lenses:

  • Should be used by workers who require vision correction.
  • May be clear, filtered, or tinted.
  • May include removable lenses.
Figure 3. Filter Lenses

Figure 3. Filter Lenses

Filter Lenses:

Figure 4. Special Purpose Lenses

Figure 4. Special Purpose Lenses

Special Purpose Lenses:

  • Are used for visual tasks that require unusual filtering of light.
  • Examples include but are not limited to:
    • Photochromic lenses
    • Didymium containing
    • Cobalt containing
    • Uniformly tinted
    • Prescription lenses
  • May not correspond to specific filter lens shades.
  • May not provide adequate protection against ultraviolet and/or infrared radiation.
  • May involve a lift-front device that is permanently attached or snaps-on and may be raised or lowered.
Figure 5. Spatula Temples

Figure 5. Spatula Temples

The safety spectacle frames must fit comfortably and correctly to offer the necessary protection.

Spatula Temples:

  • Fit over the ear.
  • Can be either fixed or adjustable.
  • Are available in metal or plastic.

Cable Temples:

  • Fit around the ear.
  • Can be either fixed or adjustable.
  • Figure 6. Headband Temples

    Figure 6. Headband Temples

  • Are available in metal or plastic.

Headband Temples:

  • Are easily adjustable for a secure fit.
  • Are useful for tasks requiring movement.
Figure 7. Adjustable Nose Pads

Figure 7. Adjustable Nose Pads

Bridges:

  • Are available in a variety of sizes.
  • Are available in fixed or adjustable types.
  • May have adjustable nose pads with pliable arms.
Figure 8. Flatfold Side Shields

Figure 8. Flatfold Side Shields

Side shields provide angular protection from impact hazards in addition to frontal protection.

Flatfold or Semi Side Shields:

  • May be part of or attached to the temple.
  • Are permanent or removable.
  • Are solid or ventilated.
  • Are tinted or clear.
Figure 9. Full (cup) Side Shields

Figure 9. Full (cup) Side Shields

Full (cup) Side Shields may be:

  • Removable
  • Wire screen
  • Tinted or clear

Safety Goggles

Goggle Protection

Safety goggles are used as primary protection to shield the eyes from heat hazards. Goggles form a protective seal around the eyes, preventing objects or liquids from entering under or around the goggles. This is especially important when working with or around molten metals that may splash.

When employees are exposed to high temperatures, additional protection beyond that offered by primary protectors may be required. Use safety goggles in combination with a heat-reflective face shield for severe temperatures exposure. Consider specific lens, frame, and ventilation options when selecting safety goggles.

Figure 10. Clear, Removable Lenses

Figure 10. Clear, Removable Lenses

Safety goggles lenses are designed and tested to resist moderate impact.

Clear Lenses:

  • Are available with removable lenses.
  • May incorporate prescription lenses.
  • Do not provide special protection against optical radiation.
Figure 11. Filter Lenses

Figure 11. Filter Lenses

Filter Lenses:

  • Provide eye protection for performing tasks involving intense light.
  • Available with removable lens types.
  • May incorporate prescription lenses.
  • Filter lens requirements.

Special Purpose Lenses:

  • Are used for particular visual tasks that may include exposure to high temperatures.
  • May be photochromic.
  • May not correspond to specific filtered lens shades.
Figure 12. Eye Cup Goggles

Figure 12. Eye Cup Goggles

Safety goggle frames must be properly fitted to the worker's face to form a protective seal around the eyes. Poorly fitted goggles will not offer the necessary protection.

Eyecup Safety Goggles:

  • Cover the eye sockets completely.
  • Are available with direct or indirect ventilation.
  • May be rigid or flexible.
Figure 13. Cover Goggles

Figure 13. Cover Goggles

Cover Safety Goggles:

  • May be worn over corrective spectacles without disturbing the adjustment of the spectacles.
  • Are available in direct, indirect, or non-ventilated types.
  • May be rigid or flexible.
Figure 14. Direct-ventilated Goggles

Figure 14. Direct-ventilated Goggles

Ventilated goggles allow air circulation while providing protection against airborne particles, dust, liquids, or light.

Direct Ventilation:

  • Resist direct passage of large particles into the goggle.
  • Prevent fogging by allowing air circulation.
Figure 15. Indirect-ventilated Goggles

Figure 15. Indirect-ventilated Goggles

Indirect Ventilation:

  • Prevent fogging by allowing air circulation.
  • Protect against liquid or chemical splash entry.
Figure 16. Non-ventilated Goggles

Figure 16. Non-ventilated Goggles

Non-ventilated Goggles:

  • Do not allow the passage of air into the goggle.
  • Prevent splash entry.
  • May fog and require frequent lens cleaning.

Face Shields

Worker wearing safety spectacles

Heat-reflective and wire-screen face shields are intended to shield the entire face from a range of heat hazards. Specific hazards associated with heat include high temperatures, splash from molten metal, and hot sparks. Face shields are considered secondary protectors to be used in addition to primary protection such as safety spectacles or goggles.

Face shield windows are made with different transparent materials and in varying degrees or levels of thickness. The thickness of the face shield window should be matched to the task. Window and headgear devices come in various styles in order to enable the worker to select the appropriate equipment.

Face shield windows extend from the brow to below the chin and across the entire width of the face.

Figure 17. Wire-Screen Window

Figure 17. Wire-Screen Window

Windows are available in both Temovable or Lift-front Designs:

  • Removable windows allow the replacement of damaged windows.
  • Lift-front windows may be raised, as needed, or left in the lowered position.

Wire-Screen Windows:

  • May include a plastic/glass insert.
  • Protect against moderate impact .
  • Not recommended for use involving chemical or liquid hazards.
Figure 18. Heat-Reflective Window

Figure 18. Heat-Reflective Window

Heat-reflective Windows:

  • Offer limited UV protection.
  • Protect against impact.
  • Protect against radiant heat.
Figure 19. Adjustable Headgear

Figure 19. Adjustable Headgear

Headgear supports the window shield and secures the device to the head.

Adjustable Headgear:

  • Includes straps that allow the user to manipulate the size of the headgear to ensure a proper fit.
  • Allows face shields to be shared between employees.
Figure 20. Hard Hat with Face Shield

Figure 20. Hard Hat with Face Shield

Hard Hats with Face Shields:

  • May have a window shield mounted under the visor of the hat.
  • Include face shields that may be plastic, wire-screen, lift-front, or removable.
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