In general, face shields are used as a protective measure to guard the wearer from any physical danger. In medical settings, face shields or masks can protect both the patient and clinician from airborne pathogens. And in industrial workplaces, eye protection is primarily provided by specialized types of work goggles that seal against the wearers’ facial area and offer an additional level of defence beyond traditional safety glasses.
Types of face shields
However, many people don’t realize that there are many different types of face shields, which means no single “face shield” product works for every possible application. For example:
• Some products labelled as “safety face shields” can also be re-purposed as welding screens.
•Some models of face shields are designed to be worn in place of a welding helmet, not in addition to one. Interestingly, some face shields can even be used for both purposes!
•Many standard safety glasses have adjustable temples that function as miniature versions of face shields. These types of glasses are generally intended for use by children or very petite adults, however.
Although “child safety goggles” do exist, these are smaller than most other types of safe eyewear and do not seal against the wearer’s facial area unless they are worn over an actual protective mask
Use for eye protection
Face shields can also be used to provide an added level of eye protection even when the wearer is not at risk of physical harm. For instance, some kinds of goggles and glasses offer a separate ventilation compartment for the wearer’s nose, permitting them to exhale through their noses while still preventing contaminants from entering via that orifice. Although this does somewhat reduce the wearer’s situational awareness (since they cannot use their usual method for breathing), this arrangement may be helpful under certain circumstances:
- When wearing full-face respirators would take too long or might exceed the wearer’s respiratory capacity.
- While working with volatile chemicals (for example, in labs)
- While handling hazardous materials (for example, while decontaminating a scene);
- Or even when it is necessary to protect one’s lungs or eyes simultaneously
To be clear: Many kinds of face shields do protect solid vision and other forms of vision-obstructing hazards. However, the type of face shield that does this job must meet specific standards for its design to be considered an effective form of eye protection.
For instance, some older face shields did not include any ventilation system; these models were intended to prevent small particles from entering the wearer’s field of view but would not block larger objects such as flying wood chips or flying metal fragments. This is why face shields that didn’t include ventilation compartments were never considered to be true forms of eye protection. Instead, they earned the label of “facial protection” instead.
A type of face shield can generally be described as any device or appliance designed to cover only part (or portions) of an individual’s face for protective purposes. Before getting into the exact types of face shields available, it is essential to first touch on some general (or “generic”) traits that almost all types of face shields must possess.