Eye Protection

Do you work with chemicals, high energy light, or machine shop equipment? Protecting your eyes from particles, chemicals, and high energy light is important for your safety. Some common eye hazards include:

There are three main types of eye protection with advantages and disadvantages for each one. They are safety glasses, goggles, and face shields.

Safety Glasses

Safety glasses have shatter resistant lenes made of materials like polycabonate or propionate plastic with side shields attached to the side pieces.

Safety glasses are designed to stop large physical objects such as wood chips from injuring your eyes. They are also used to provide laser light filtration to prevent reflections from the laser entering the eye and causing retinal burns. Safety glasses provide little to no protection from liquids or vapors.

Safety glasses can be purchased with prescription lenses. In fact, you can even get bifocal safety glasses.


Goggles come in two different types, vented and non-vented.

Non-vented goggles are used to protect your eyes from vapors, mists, fumes, or other eye hazards when you have to cover your eyes completely but the material hazard does not require covering of all exposed skin.

Vented goggles are used where there are moderated quantities of liquids involved but no vapors or mists are involved. You have to be careful when you select a vented goggle because there are several types. The most common type is found in the hardware store and has about a hundred holes drilled into the plastic. This type of vented goggle will not stop liquids from coming in through the holes and is not suitable for laboratory work. The type of vented goggle that is made for laboratory use has a series of buttons embedded into the plastic. These buttons house a baffle plate that allows air to pass but presents a physical barrier to liquids.

Face Shield

Face shields are designed to augment other types of eye protection and are not meant to be a stand alone form of eye protection. Face shields are used to protect your entire face with goggles on under the shield to catch any liquids that might have made it past the shield.

If you have any questions you should contact EHS at (216) 368-2907.

EHS | Service Building, first floor | 2220 Circle Dr | Cleveland, Ohio 44106 | 216.368.2906/2907 | does@case.edu
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