Safety Glasses Vs Face Shield: which Is the Best for You?

Safety Glasses Vs Face Shield: which Is the Best for You?

During your work in the workplace, you are surrendered by many eye-related hazards that can injure your eyes. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), each year, Between 20,000 and 30,000 eye injuries occur in the workplace. 

90 percent of those eye injuries can be avoided only by wearing protective eyewear that meets ANSI Z87 standards like safety glasses or a face shield. In this article, I will walk you through the differences between a pair of safety glasses and a face shield and which one is the best for your situation or job.

For any job or activities that are done during small metal sparks that are flying everywhere like welding or in an extreme heat that can hurt your whole face, Face shields are the best PPE to be worn. If not, safety glasses can be enough.

Before diving into the differences between the two protective eyewear let us see each one’s role, advantages, and disadvantages.

Note: Please put in mind that we are talking about ANSI Z87 polycarbonate face shields that are made to protect the wearer’s face from workplace hazards, not the face shields that are made to protect from any sort of virus

Safety Glasses  

ANSI Z87 Safety glasses are made to be worn like any regular glasses with the ability to protect your eyes from impact, dust, liquid splash, and all sorts of hurtful light such as UV rays, blue light, and glare. 

Advantages of Safety Glasses

  • Impact resistance.
  • Lightweight and comfortable to be worn all day.
  • Easy to wear and replace.
  • Budget-friendly.
  • Include many features like (polarized lenses, anti-fog lenses, photochromic lenses, floating on water, and many lens tint color).
  • Scratch and anti-reflect resistance.
  • UV radiation protection.

Disadvantages of Safety Glasses

  • Some low-quality safety glasses can scratch easily
  • They don’t protect the whole face only the eyes

Face Shield 

Face Shields ansi z87

ANSI Z87 Polycarbonate face shields are made to be worn in hazardous workplaces and laboratories. They protect the whole face including the eyes from all sorts of injuries that can target the face or the eyes.

Advantages of Face Shield 

  • Hole face protection including the eyes.
  • Easy to wear.
  • Impact resistance.
  • Lightweight.
  • Dust and liquid splash protection (better than safety glasses).
  • UV radiation protection.

Disadvantages of Face Shield

  • Face shields are not the most comfortable protection eyewear out there. You cannot wear them all day.
  • Face shields can quickly fog up. 

The Main Differences Between Safety Glasses and Face Shields


Protection Safety Glasses vs Face Shields

Safety glasses and face shields are designed primarily to protect the wearer but each one of them is better than the other in some areas.

Safety glasses are made to protect only the eyes, while face shields are made to protect the whole face. Let me give you an example.

face sheils protection ansi z87 welder

If you are a welder and you are working in your workshop, create or repair metal products. While you’re welding sparks go all over the place, in this case, your whole face is at risk. So what do you think is better for this situation? A pair of safety glasses or a face shield?

Construction site workers safety glasses

Let me give you another example. Construction site workers are also surrounded by eye-related hazards but they don’t wear face shields, instead, they wear safety glasses. Because of their practicality and easy to work with all day long. This is why you don’t find construction workers wearing face shields.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Face shields provide better protection for the whole face, on the other hand, safety glasses will only protect your eyes.

Comfort Safety Glasses vs Face Shields

When it comes to comfort safety glasses are more comfortable and practical than face shields. They are built to be comfortable and easy to wear all day. But with a face shield, you cannot.  

This doesn’t mean that face shields are not comfortable at all, but you cannot wear them all day. When you finish the task that requires the wear of a face shield then you can take it off.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Safety glasses are more comfortable than face shields.

Durability Safety Glasses vs Face Shields

Safety glasses and face shields can last up to 5 years if you take care of them. If they are heavily scratched or broken then you should replace them immediately because they will cause eye strain, eye fatigue, and headaches.

To keep your Safety glasses or face shields last for a long time you need to establish a cleaning routine before and after each workday. Learn more about how to clean your safety glasses, face shields can also be cleaned the same way as safety glasses lenses.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: Both Safety glasses and face shields are durable.

Price Safety Glasses vs Face Shields

Now we will discuss the price between safety glasses and face shields and how worth the investment. The first thing that I want to make clear is that you can wear your safety glasses under the face shield for more protection.

On average safety glasses are less expensive than face shields. Safety glasses price can start from $2, of course, $2 safety glasses are not the best.  Some safety glasses with great looking design and lenses that provide special features like polarized lenses, photochromic lenses, or prescription or ballistic safety glasses can cost up to $300.

If you go for Kleenguard Nemesis Safety Glasses, one of the most popular safety glasses on the market. Their prices start from $6.

For face shields that are polycarbonate and ANSI Z87 approved on average, their price can start from $10. If you go for high-quality ones the price will increase.

KEY TAKEAWAYS: On average safety glasses are cheaper than face shields.

Summary

Activities that require face shields are where there is an extreme heat that can hurt your face or small metal spark that are flying everywhere like during welding. If not, safety glasses are enough.

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