Eye Protection

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This guide helps you select the most appropriate protective eyewear for you and your business.

The guide includes details of the risk types you may be subject to. It gives an overview of lens and frame markings and covers the European safety standards to be aware of when choosing.

Topics in this guide

What Protection Do You Need?


Types of
Eye Protection




Mandatory Markings


European Standards


What type of protection do you need?

Click an icon to find out more

Below are the specific risks in which you may need protection for, click our handy icons to discover which EN Standards you require to stay protected.

Grinding work, particle projections, projections of metal filings or debris from tools.

Risks or Use Symbol* Safety Spectacles Safety Goggles Standard
Low energy impact 45 m/s F EN166
Medium energy impact 120 m/s B - EN166
High energy impact 190 m/s A - - EN166

*The F, B or A Symbol must be indicated on the lens and the frame to guarantee protection from mechanical risks. If the symbols differ, the symbol representing the lowest resistance is applied to the protection as a whole.

Protection from live contact and short circuit electric arcs.

Risks or Use Symbol* Safety Spectacles Safety Goggles Standard
Short-circuit electric arc 8 - - EN166

*The 8 symbol must be indicated on the lens and the frame to guarantee protection from electrical risks.

Sprays of hot liquids or solids, intense heat radiation, radiating heat from furnaces.

Risks or Use Symbol* Safety Spectacles Safety Goggles Standard
Spray of molten metals and hot solids 9 - EN166

*The 9 symbol must be indicated on the lens and the frame to guarantee protection from thermal risks.

Exposure of the eyes to high intensity, ultra violet, infa-red and visible light sources, welding activities, steelworks, surgery.

Risks or Use Symbol* Safety Spectacles Safety Goggles Standard
Ultraviolet radiation 2 EN166 EN170
Infa-red radiation 4 EN166 EN171
Solar radiation for industrial use 5 or 6 EN166 EN172
Electric welding EN175 for the hood EN379 for the filter EN166-169 EN175 EN379
Gas Welding 1.7/3/5 EN166 EN169
Laser radiation R1 to R5 LB1 to LB10 EN207 EN208

*The standard is identified on the lens markings.

Protection from toxic dust, aerosols, dangerous liquids, gas or toxic vapors.

Risks or Use Symbol* Safety Spectacles Safety Goggles Standard
Liquid Droplets 3 - EN166
Liquid Splashes 3 - EN166
Large dust particles > 5 microns 4 - EN166
Gas and fine dust particles <5 microns 5 - EN166

*The 3, 4 and 5 symbol or symbols must be indicated on the frame. If none of these symbols is indicated in the markings, then the equipment is not suitable for chemical risks.

Types of eye protection

Safety Spectacles

Safety spectacles are recommended for environments where hazards include potential exposure to impact from airborne particles. They are less likely to suffer from 'fogging' than Goggles. Models with side shields offer a greater arc of protection. Safety spectacles are not recommended where chemical splash or hazardous vapours may be present.

Safety Spectacles


Overspectacles are designed to fit over most users' prescription spectacles and offer minimal interference. They offer an excellent coverage and field of vision, combined with a high level of protection against impact. They also offer a degree of convenience for spectacle wearers.


Safety Goggles

These provide a secure shield around the entire eye area and offer hazard protection from any direction. They are particularly recommended where users may be exposed not only to impact hazards but more importantly from chemical splash or vapour ingress. Vented goggles are only suitable for impact protection. Non vented types can suffer from 'fogging'.


Lens Materials

Polycarbonate lenses

Many models of eye protection use polycarbonate lenses. These offer the highest level of impact protection as tested under EN166. They are lightweight and give protection from the harmful effects of UV radiation.

Acetate and CR39 lenses

Acetate and CR39 lenses offer excellent protection against chemicals and still give general impact protection. They are geared more for longer duration against liquid and chemical splash situations.

Anti-fog lenses

Ventilated versions give extra aeration to an anti-fog lens but still offer liquid and chemical splash protection .Non Ventilated (or sealed) also conform to the liquid and chemical splash requirements but also provide dust protection.

Mandatory Markings

Lens and frame marking is specific to each product.

Each marking corresponds to a very specific use. Certified by independent labratories, this information guarantees protective eyewear quality and resistance.

Select a standard

Hover over a standard to learn more.

EN standard

For example EN166

Manufacturer logo

Lens technology

European standard

For example

EN standard

Manufacturer logo

Lens technology

European Standards


F. maximum protection for glasses

B. maximum protection for goggles

A. maximum protection for face sheilds

If the S, F, B, A and T symbols do not apply to both the lens and frame, the the lowest level must be assigned to the complete protective eyewear.

Basic standards

  • EN166 Guarantee of minimum protection against everyday risks (dropping, sun-ageing, heat exposure, corrosion, etc.)
  • EN167 Optical test methods.
  • EN168 Test methods other than optical.
  • Standards by type of application

  • Identified by a code (field of use) which is on the lens marking.

  • EN169 Welding filters.
  • EN170 Ultra-violet filters (code 2 or 3)
  • EN171 Infa-red filters (code 4)
  • EN172 Industrial use solar protection filters (code 5 or 6)
  • EN175 Equipment for welding (presence of the EN175 on the product).
  • EN207 Laser protection glasses (code LB1 to LB10).
  • EN208 Laser adjustment glasses (code R1 to R5).
  • EN379 Specification covering welding filters.
  • Frame marking

  • The frame must include:
  • • CE Symbol
  • • Manyfacturer
  • • Use and Strength symbols
  • • EN standard (if applicable)

  • Symbols Explained:
  • 3 Liquid Droplets or splashes.
  • 4 Large dust particles > 5 microns.
  • 5 Gas and fine dust particles < 5 microns.

  • Mandatory marking on frame and lens:
  • 8 Electrical short circuit arc.
  • 9 Molten metal and hot solids.
  • Lens markings

    Lens marking must include:

  • • The scale number for filtering lenses (code).
  • • The manufacturer's name (logo or brand recommended by the manufacturer).

  • Symbols Explained:
  • 1 Continuous work - Worn Permanently.
  • 2 Non-continuous work - Worn intermittently.
  • 3 Occasional work, must not be worn permanently.
  • 8 Electrical short circuit arc.
  • 9 Molten metal and hot solids.
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