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Disadvantages of face shield PPE

Disadvantages of face shield PPE - NoCry

Raino Raasuke |

PPE is vital to running a business in a physical industry, with the health and safety of employees and customers taking the highest priority at every stage of the game. More and more you might see employees donning a protective head cover and face shield, rather than a mask alone, a pair of safety goggles, or a combination of the two. But how effective are face shields, and what are their disadvantages when it comes to protection and functionality?

Pros – What is the Purpose of Wearing a Face Shield?

Before we break down the cons associated with face shields, it’s worth reminding ourselves of why we wear them in the first place.

  • Full Coverage: Face shields protect the entirety of the face, rather than specific parts like the eyes or mouth.
  • Ease of Wearing: It’s nearly impossible to put a face shield on wrong, so you can be confident that you’re getting the protection you need.
  • Cheap, Reusable & Readily Available: Face shields are inexpensive and can be found with ease, while they’re also reusable with a little wipe down and disinfectant.
  • Customer / Patient Comfort: In medical or customer-facing contexts, a face shield shows the customer you care while still showing your personable face.

Cons – Work Functionality

When it comes to working in a face shield, there are some functional aspects that may be slightly compromising. The main one is that they aren’t the perfect viewing platform, with many face shields picking up glare from sunlight, while other face shields are fogging up after short periods of working.

Along with the visual compromise that they may make, face shields are also a bulky PPE option. As opposed to a sleek pair of safety glasses, a face shield is clearly large and somewhat compromising to your comfort and style, also potentially causing issues if you wear a respirator. They also don’t offer perfect peripheral protection, meaning while the front of your face may be well-protected, hazards from the sides may be an issue.

Cons – Face Shield for Corona/Covid-19

In the age of pandemics and lockdowns, PPE has become about much more than protecting yourself from sawdust and free-flying thorns. These days you need to know that your protective choices are also keeping you and those around safe from viral infections. So are face shields effective against Covid-19 and does a face shield protect others well enough?

While face shields do offer more protection for the wearer, there are studies that indicate that they’re not as effective as masks when it comes to safeguarding others. Keeping your eyes, nose, and mouth out of harm’s way is one thing, but real Covid-safe PPE needs to protect those around us from the germs we may spread, and the gaps in face shields provide more pathways for harmful droplets to take on their way to new hosts. 

For true, comprehensive protection on either side, wear a face shield with a mask underneath.

Final Thoughts

Face shields can, of course, offer valuable protection in the workplace, it’s just important that you choose a good, durable one, which is resistant to glare and fog, while also accommodating any other PPE choices you might make. Our range has a few great face shield options for the protection of yourself, coworkers, and clientele. Remember, they’re not a one-stop solution and can’t act as a substitute for smart, safe work practices.