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EN166 F is the highest standard available in safety spectacles. At ALL of our prescription safety glasses conform to EN166 F (as long as specified with polycarbonate or Trivex™ lens material) Click here to review our range of over 60 styles from different manufacturers



Eye Injuries

Many studies have shown that approx 70% of eye injuries result from flying or falling objects. Two thirds of these objects were as small as a pin head most particles moving faster than a hand thrown object.

Contact with chemicals causes approx 20% of injuries.

Other accidents were caused by objects swinging from a fixed or attached position, like tree limbs, ropes, chains, or tools which were pulled into the eye while the worker was using them.

40% of injuries studied occurred among mechanics, repairers, carpenters, and plumbers. Over a third of the injured workers were assemblers, sanders, and grinding machine operators. Labourers suffered about 20% of the eye injuries.


Personal protective equipment at work  regulations 2002

Covers requirements, assessment, hazards, training, maintenance and CE marking.



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European Standard EN 166 (specifications / markings)


BS EN 166 Eyewear markings   PROTECTOR TYPE
Manufacturers Mark ® ®   u u u
  OPTICAL CLASS Refractive Power +/- 0.06 - 1   u u u

+/- 0.12

- 2   u u u
  + 0.12 - 3   u u  
  - 0.25 -  
  MECHANICAL STRENGTH Increased Robustness - S   u u u
Low Energy Impact - F F   u u u
Medium Energy Impact - B B     u u
High Energy Impact - A A       u
  FIELD OF USE Liquid Droplets / Spashes 3 -     u u
Large Dust Particles 4 -     u  
Gas / Fine Dust Particles 5 -     u  
Short Circuit Electric Arc 8 -       u
Molten Metal / Hot Solids 9 9     u u
Resistance to fogging - N   u u u
Resistance to Surface Damage - K   u u u


 Welding Classes and recommended field of use (EN169)


Class Field of use


Gas Flow (l/h)

1.7 For welding assistants    
2/3 Light blowpipe work    
4 Brazing/oxy-fuel  welding Acetylene :  Up to 70
5 Brazing/oxy-fuel  welding and cutting

Acetylene : 

Oxygen : 

Above 70-200

Above 900-2000

6 Brazing/oxy-fuel  welding and cutting

Acetylene : 

Oxygen : 

Above 200-800

Above 2000-4000

7 Brazing/oxy-fuel  welding, cutting and thermal lancing

Acetylene : 

Oxygen : 


Above 4000-8000

See also links to....

Personal Protection at Work Regulations (2002)

HSE Short guide to PPE regulations 2002


Other relevant EN standards are...

EN 169, Personal eye-protection - Filters for welding and related techniques - Transmittance requirements and recommended use

EN 170, Personal eye-protection - Ultraviolet filters - Transmittance requirements and recommended use

EN 171, Personal eye-protection - Infrared filters - Transmittance requirements and recommended use

EN 172, Personal eye protection - Sun glare filters for industrial use

EN 175, Personal protection - Equipment for eye and face protection during welding and allied processes

EN 207, Personal eye-protection - Filters and eye-protectors against laser radiation (laser eye-protectors)

EN 208, Personal eye-protection - Eye-protectors for adjustment work on lasers and laser systems (laser adjustment eye-protectors)

EN 379, Personal eye-protection - Automatic welding filters

EN 1731, Personal eye protection - Mesh eye and face protector



Prescription Safety Glasses

Impact resistance for mechanical strength F is tested using  a ballistic test -  firing a 6mm steel ball weighing 0.86g travelling at maximum 45 m/s at the time of impact.

Mechanical strength S measured by dropping a 43g 22mm steel ball onto the lens from a height of 15 inches.

Grade F is suited for tasks like drilling, sawing, grinding, hammering or risk from any process which could emit particles whose energy equates to the test specifications above. 

Grade S can be used in hazardous areas where there is risk of small flying particles from other workers or processes in the vicinity but where the wearer is not close to the source of the hazard. 

All our lenses are Optical Class 1.


Housing has higher impact resistance with greater protection from hazardous liquids, dust and gases. Goggles provide the minimum protection for mechanical strength B (6mm 0.86g steel ball at max 120m/s on impact)

Face shields

Housing has even higher impact resistance but offering head protection and prevents damage to soft tissues of the face. Often safety spectacles are worn beneath in addition.

Face shields provide protection for mechanical strength A (6mm 0.86g steel ball at max 190m/s on impact)


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