Face Shields & Safety Visor Information, Tips, & Advice

Face ShieldFace shields and safety visors are types of personal protection equipment that should be used in work environments that contain airborne debris, chemicals, and blood borne pathogens. They should be used in specific operations to protect the entire face but are considered secondary protection devices since they should only be used to compliment safety glasses and goggles. The combination of safety glasses/goggles and a face shield will provide the recommended amount of protection as seen by OSHA. A face shield will usually be attached to some type of adjustable headgear like a helmet or cap attachment. The shield itself is made from a blend of tinted or transparent polycarbonate or acetate in a variety of shapes and sizes. These types of visors are for helmets.

OSHA Requirements for Face Shields and Visors

Employers are required by OSHA to provide face shields to employees at risk of face or eye damage during their job duties. These face shields must be comfortable, able to be cleaned and disinfected, durable and well-maintained. If the face shield requires tinting, the employer should start with the darkest tint available and decrease the shading gradually until optimal tinting is achieved without impairing vision. Face shield windows extend from the brow to below the chin and across the entire width of the face.

Windows are available in both removable and lift-front designs:

  • Removable windows allow the replacement of damaged windows.
  • Lift-front windows may be raised or lowered as needed.

Wire-screen windows:

  • May include a plastic/glass insert
  • Protect against moderate impact
  • Not recommended for use involving chemical or liquid hazards

Heat-reflective windows:

  • Offer limited UV protection
  • Protect against impact
  • Protect against radiant heat

Headgear supports the window shield and secures the device to the head.

  • Straps allow the user to manipulate the size of the headgear to ensure a proper fit
  • Allows face shields to be shared between employees

Hard hats with face shields:

  • A window shield may be mounted under the visor of the hat
  • Face shields may be wire-screen, heat reflective, lift-front, or removable

See the OSHA Page for a full list of requirements.

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