What types of safety glasses are there?

Eye protection equipment, such as safety glasses, protect the eyes. There are various types of glasses available. Each type provides protection against different risks. Read more about finding glasses that provide you with sufficient protection.

Protection equipment

Safety glasses are a type of personal protective equipment (PPE). Other equipment include hearing protection and hand protection. Suitable PPEs provide protection against dangers that could threaten your health or safety. A small metal splinter or a splash of a chemical can be painful, or even cause permanent damage to your eyes. Also, radiation, such as ultraviolet and infrared, can be dangerous. Eye damage can cause a temporary or permanent incapacity to work.

Protection against risks

Each type of safety glasses provides protection against different risks. We can classify risks roughly into five categories:

  • Mechanical risks: caused by particles, dust or splinters.
  • Chemical risks: caused by hazardous substances, such as solvents, sprays and cement.
  • Thermal risks: caused by molten metal particles, flames or liquids at a high temperature.
  • Electrical risks: caused short arc welding, flame jets or UV radiation.
  • Optical risks: caused by laser, infrared and UV radiation.

Types of eye protection

  • Safety glasses: This looks like normal glasses. The glasses are made from special materials: hardened glass or polycarbonate.
  • Safety goggles: These is worn over one’s normal glasses and protects them against damage.
  • Cyclops glasses: The glasses protect the eyes and one’s own glasses. In addition , these cover the eyes completely so no dust can get in the eyes.
  • Welding goggles: With autogenous welding (welding method that uses a very hot flame), the welding goggles protect the eyes against infrared radiation.
  • Face protection: If eye protection is not enough, then you can opt for face protection.

If you have found the right glasses or goggles that suit your work circumstances and situation, it is important that you check whether this fits well around your face and that it can be combined with other PPEs that you use.

EN standards for eye protection

Based on these risks, you can determine the standard that your eye protection must meet. Here are the EN standards that relate to eye protection:

  • EN 166: 2001 Basic requirements for all types of eye and face protection, with the exception of laser, nuclear, x-ray and low temperature IR radiation.
  • EN 167: 2001 Optical test methods
  • EN 168: 2001 Non-optical test methods
  • EN 169: 2002 Filters for welding and associated techniques
  • EN 170: 2002 Ultraviolet filters (UV-filters)
  • EN 171: 2002 Infrared filters (IR-filters)
  • EN 172: 1995 Sunlight filters for industrial use
  • EN 175: 1997 Equipment for eye and face protection during welding and associated processes
  • EN 207: 1998 Filters and eye protection against laser radiation
  • EN 208: 1998 Eye protection for adjustment work to lasers and laser systems
  • EN 379: 2003 Automatic welding filters
  • EN 1731: 1997 Eye and face protection with woven metal wire for protecting against mechanical hazards and/or heat

It is important that eye protection has CE certification. Eye protection must meet the EN 166:2001 standard for eye protection. Glasses that have this certification meet the statutory safety standards. The CE symbol must be on both glasses, on the arms and on the frame.


Do you want to have more information on eye protection? Contact us or look at our product range on the digital catalogue (Dutch).