Face Shield vs Safety Goggles – Which Is Safer and When?

By now, we all know the importance of wearing the best PPE eye protection while in the workplace. Whether you’re working on a construction site or in a chemical laboratory, there are countless hazards that could potentially damage your eyes. While we’ve already taken a deeper look at the debate between safety glasses vs goggles, there’s another face and eye protector that many don’t feel as confident in – the face shield.

We’ve put together this article to compare the efficacy of each item in a working context, so we can decide which is better, face shield or goggles?

Face Shield vs Goggles for Work Hazards

Safety glasses and goggles are a fairly elegant way of protecting your eyes and their surrounding areas while at work. With specially made lenses and durable construction, they can offer protection from a variety of flying hazards, along with harmful radiation such as UV and Blue Light rays.

Safety glasses, even with wraparound lenses and high impact tolerances are likely the least comprehensive when it comes to protecting yourself. There are always going to be some gaps and spaces when it comes to glasses over goggles. Goggles are a more reliable way to fully protect your eyes, but they may feel a little clunky in comparison.

Face shields however offer all of the protection of safety glasses across the entirety of your face, which can be very helpful depending on the hazard level of your workplace. If you’re mostly protecting your eyes from dust and things of the sort, perhaps a face shield isn’t as necessary. On the other hand, if your goggles/glasses are keeping out more potentially harmful agents, such as dangerous chemicals or high-speed debris, then protecting the rest of your face only makes sense. It’s worth noting, face shields are unlikely to offer the same degree of eye-specific radiation protection that certain goggles and glasses promise.

Goggles vs Face Shields for Covid & Viruses

The battle of safety goggles vs face shields can’t begin and end with physical hazards, especially not in a post-pandemic world. More and more working people are seeking out PPE solutions that will protect them from the dangers of contracting the Covid-19 virus or any other illness, as a means of staying healthy and able to work.

Goggles and glasses can of course provide you some protection from droplets and germs, however, their disadvantage lies in the lack of coverage that they offer. They will be able to protect your eyes from being an entry point for viruses, but that’s the extent of what they can offer. Alternatively, face shields offer maximum coverage over your head and eyes, so there are less ways that the virus can get in, crucially including the mouth and nose.

Face shields aren’t perfect, providing less than perfect peripheral protection in many cases, but they still have the advantage of also helping to prevent you from spreading your own germs, along with protecting you from them. For more detail on this aspect, check out this interesting report.

Final Thoughts

Man using safety goggles attached to face shield

When it comes to choosing a face shield or more specific eye protection, the decision lies with your preference and need for protection. If you’re a customer-facing business or are going to be in close contact with potentially harmful hazards throughout your day, perhaps you should choose a comprehensively protecting face shield. For those who value their comfort and style while feeling their eyes are the primary risk-takers of the face, safety goggles or glasses might be everything that you need.