Proper personal protection equipment (PPE) is essential in a laboratory environment. Lab technicians work under a variety of conditions every day, including some that involve potentially hazardous materials. In order to make sure that these conditions don’t adversely affect your eyesight, eye protection is necessary. When planning your own laboratory space, these are some examples of the essential eye protection to have on hand in your lab.
Safety glasses are essential for daily work in a lab space. Safety glasses are the most basic level of eye protection in the lab. In fact, most labs require you to put on safety glasses before or immediately after entering the laboratory. Safety glasses must wrap around the sides of the face to provide protection from multiple angles, though they don’t provide as much coverage as a pair of goggles. Safety glasses protect your eyes from minor debris, heat, and materials but cannot shield from splashes.
Whether you are using beakers and test tubes or a complete short path distillation system, you must wear protective goggles when working with chemicals. Goggles are important to protect your eyes from any chemical splashes that may occur, especially when the chemicals could damage the eyes. Impact goggles are a special type of eye protection that shields your eyes from flying debris. These are important to have in certain lab spaces, though most labs supply standard splash goggles.
Face shields are the next step for protection after goggles. In fact, you should wear a face shield with goggles for proper eye and facial protection from chemical splashes and burns. For any experiments using concreted acids or other chemicals, face shields are always recommended to provide an extra layer of protection. Some chemicals may be just as damaging and fast-acting to the skin as they are to the eyes, so a face shield is necessary when working with these hazardous materials.
These examples of essential eye protection to have on hand in your lab show just how important PPE is in a laboratory. Protective equipment promotes a safe environment in a space, which can be dangerous at times. This is why it’s important to always supply the proper PPE and provide the proper safety training to your employees.