Difference Between Safety Glasses and Safety Goggles

Is black your favorite color?

It won’t be if the entire world turns black for you!

Yes! Without eyesight you will enter into a world of darkness. Do you really want that to happen to you?

Of course, not, right?

So, knowing about the right safety gears to protect your eyes from hazards is very crucial. And when it comes to the selection between safety glasses and safety goggles, the battle is real!

Safety goggles fit tightly to the face covering the entire area around the eyes. They act like shields offering protection to the eyes even from the sides and therefore, they are the best in offering protection from high-risk conditions like flying metal pieces, caustic vapors, chemical splashes, chemical droplets, etc., all of which have chances of injuring the eyes by entering from the sides of glasses.

Difference Between Safety Glasses and Safety Goggles

Safety glasses on the other hand, are meant for low-risk hazards where there are no instances of flying particles. But, when it comes to comfort, safety glasses might feel more comfortable to you only because of the fact that they do not cover your eyes from the sides.

Having learnt that, let us now enter into the detailed comparison between safety glasses and safety goggles to find out which offers the best protection for which types of hazards!

Comparison Between Safety Glasses and Safety Goggles

Parameters  Safety glasses  Safety goggles 
Comfort  More Less 
Fit  Snug fit  Tight fit 
Prevention from dust  Yes  Yes 
Prevention from fumes Yes  Yes 
Prevention from heat  Yes  Yes 
Prevention from sparks  Less  More 
Prevention from explosives Less More 
Prevention from caustic vapor No Yes 
Prevention from liquid chemical splash Less  More 
Prevention from flying molten metal debris Less  More m
Prevention from impacts Yes  Yes 
Prevention from UV rays  Yes  Yes 

Similarities between safety glasses and safety goggles

Despite many of their difference, safety glasses and safety goggles have some things in common as they both:

      • Are PPE for the eyes and face
      • Have to meet ANSI Z87.1 standards
      • Both offer protection from impacts
      • Both are approved by OSHA
      • Both are used in workplaces

When to wear safety glasses?

Safety glasses are a go-to work gear for workers in almost every sector involving low-risk eye hazards. Purposes where you should wear safety glasses include:

      • Prevention from impacts
      • Prevention from dust
      • Prevention from sparks
      • Prevention from heat
      • Prevention from fumes

When to wear safety goggles?

Safety goggles are a bit uncomfortable as compared to safety glasses as they fit tight to the face which is definitely for better protection of the eyes.

Yet, you should evaluate the potential level of hazards in your workplace before opting for safety goggles instead of safety glasses that whether you need them or not.

You should go for safety goggles only if your workplace poses the following hazards:

      • Danger from explosives
      • Danger from liquid chemicals that might splash into your eyes
      • Danger from spatters of welding
      • Danger from caustic vapor
      • Danger from high velocity flying debris
      • Danger from intense flames
      • Danger from impacts

Types of safety goggles and when to use which type

Let us now discuss about the 3 different types of safety goggles and when to use which type and when not to use which type:

1.) Direct vented safety goggles

If you need anti-fog goggles in case your work environment is too heated-up or you need to contend with heat while work, then these direct vented safety goggles should be the best option for you as they have tiny perforations in them which allow air circulation and prevents fogging of the lenses.

These types of goggles are best for impact protection and should not be used if your work pose hazards from liquid chemicals, high velocity flying debris, dust and caustic vapors. 

See also: Best Anti-Fog Safety Glasses for Work

2.) Indirect vented safety goggles

The indirect vented safety goggles come with options for either dual-pane lenses or anti-fog lenses and the reason behind this is there are vents present in the body of these safety goggles, but the difference from the former is that the vents are covered in this case which makes way for air circulation whenever needed.

You should use these types of safety goggles for impact protection and protection from liquid splash and dusts, but still they should not be used for caustic vapors and flying metal debris.

3.) Non-vented safety goggles

These are in fact, the best when it comes to all-round protection from impacts, caustic vapors, dust, chemical liquid splashes and flying molten metal debris.

But, do not forget to get anti-fogging lenses with this type of safety goggles as they are not vented at all which is sure to cause fogging of the lenses. 

Can you wear glasses instead of safety goggles?

If you ask me whether you can wear your prescription glasses instead of safety goggles, the answer is a big NO.

The reason for this is, prescription glasses can only offer protection from glares and UV rays and correct your vision, but can never offer you the protection from other workplace hazards like safety goggles.

In the first place, glasses will break easily under any low impact and the glass particles might get into your eyes and injure them.

Secondly, prescription glasses are open from all sides, the upper of the eyes, the sides and therefore, they are not fit for offering safety to the eyes.

And it’s a wrap!

Safety glasses can never take the place of safety goggles when it comes to 360 degrees protection of the eyes!

Assess your workplace, know the level and types of hazards and choose between safety glasses and safety goggles according to your requirements.

Stephen Luettgen
I have 12+ years of experience in construction, inspections, handy work, and currently working as a Construction Site Manager. In today’s day we spent a significant part of our time at workplace and a right work gear can have significant impact not only on your safety but also work quality.

Related Posts: