Important to know about eye protection

A lot of work-related accidents are reported each year in the form of eye injuries. Why do so many people get hurt, and why do some even risk going blind? Imagine how your life would be if you lost one of your senses—sight—and had to live in darkness.

Eye protection is used to guard against risks to the eyes and face, such as mechanical hazards (e.g., flying particles) and chemical hazards (e.g., chemical splashes). Protection against radiation, such as UV rays or bright light, can also be a workplace risk.

To choose the right protection, it is important to identify the risks in the surrounding environment and ensure that the protection is tailored to the wearer. The only way to be fully protected from eye injuries on the job is to wear the proper eye protection 100% of the time.

To be fully protected, it is required:

  • that it should have the right fit.
  • that you use the right protection for the work task.
  • that you feel satisfied with your eye protection.

To achieve optimal protection, it is important to replace eye protection regularly if the fit deteriorates or the lenses become scratched.


Because there are many different levels of protection and intended uses, each type of eye protection is labeled. The image below explains how to read the marking.

Click on the image to open it in a new window.

Example of eye protection testing

Mechanical Test

The mechanical test according to EN 166 (Enhanced Strength) is performed by dropping a 22mm steel ball on the protective lens at a speed of 5.1m/s. "S" indicates that this test has been completed.

Additional test for high-velocity particle protection

A 6mm steel ball is used and shot at the protective lens.

Low-energy impact – 45 m/s marked with "F" – (safety glasses, goggles, visors)

Medium-energy impact – 120 m/s marked with "B" – (goggles, visors)

High-energy impact – 190 m/s marked with "A" – (visors)

Optical Test

The optical quality of eye protection is divided into three classes. The lens is marked with 1, 2, or 3. Class 1 is the best class for optical performance.