Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by Stephen Paul Robertson
When you look at construction or other working sites, a lot of time you will notice workers sporting safety goggles. This helps them protect their delicate eyes from dust, debris, and other dangerous particles that fill the air. However, is it just the eye that needs protection? Shouldn’t we protect all the other equally important facial features too? Are face shields required for grinding?
Face shields are an essential form of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that is heavily encouraged for anyone who performs grinding tasks. Hazards can be toned down and your face can be kept away from dust, sparks, and debris. Read on to learn about some other useful facts.
Read Also: Best Face Shield for Grinding
Importance of Utilizing Face Shields for Grinding
While grinding, workers will utilize handheld or heavy-duty table grinders that create flaming hot sparks, and flying debris or dirt. Working in such professions, thus, increases the chances of injuring your head, face, and eyes. As the risk is raised, employees should also place some effort into improving their security.
Often enough, employers will suggest sporting a face shield while grinding. What is the reason behind this? Let us point them out to you.
1. Increases Eye and Face Protection
Safety glasses or goggles only protect people’s eyes from hazards. However, as the face is left bare, the chances of inhaling or swallowing dirt and debris remain the same. Flaming sparks can also painfully burn your skin and leave scars that tag you along for your entire life.
Putting on a face shield eliminates several of these risks and drives away the danger from your face. Putting on a safety google underneath will also create double-layered protection for your eyes, which increases the sense of security.
2. Decreases the Amount of Heat Reaching the Face
Grinding produces a lot of heat, which has the power of causing extreme discomfort. We can also agree that drops of sweat constantly gliding down your face is rather annoying! Other than this issue, heat can also create rashes similar to sunburn. These are frustratingly agonizing and leave your skin aching and itching for days.
As you could have guessed, such things will hinder a worker’s comfort and make them lose focus. This is how fatal accidents often occur during grinding.
When a face shield is worn, less heat is transferred to the wearer’s face. This is because a plastic sheet is present 3 mm away from their face. Both the plastic and air layer act as an insulator that lessens the transfer of warmth.
3. Minimizing High-Velocity Impact Hazards
Many incidents have resulted in disks of angle-grinders breaking off and flying onto a worker’s face. Besides that, the material you are working on could also chip or crack having some of its pieces soaring towards your face.
As these hovering parts have an extremely high speed, they hold a big momentum and can apply a massive amount of force to places they collide with. Impact hazards are created which can cause big accidents or even result in death.
When face shields are put on, a protective layer is present which can block these pieces or tone down the amount of force they apply. Hence, it is safe to say that in certain situations face shields can make the difference between life and death.
Choosing Your Face Shield
Often enough, task specific face shields are available in the market. Therefore, it is very likely that upon searching, you will be able to find face shields that are only built for use while grinding. Purchasing such specific face shields is a better idea than simply buying regular ones, as they are constructed with all the risks of the profession kept in mind.
In terms of material, polycarbonate is an excellent choice since it has better resistance to heat and impact. These properties combine to cause a decline in risks associated with grinding. Mesh also stands as another commendable option, all thanks to the amazing ventilation it provides while properly looking after your face.
Lastly, you should also look for face shields that come with attached hard hats. Keep in mind that head protection also offers added face protection, meaning you will be provided more security. Other than that, head safety alone is important. Having flying debris or parts hitting your head can result in severe head injuries.
Frequently Asked Questions
Do I need a face shield for angle grinder?
Yes, face shields are necessary while using an angle grinder. They will help prevents sparks from causing burns on your eyes and other facial features.
Does OSHA require face shield while grinding?
Yes, OSHA makes wearing face shields a mandatory regulation. This is because all employees engage in dangerous tasks like welding, cutting, and grinding, which could result in severe facial injuries.
What type of eye protection is needed for heavy grinding?
Face shields are the minimum requirement, but people tend to wear safety goggles underneath to be extra careful. Layering helps in providing some extra protection for the delicate eyes.
Who is responsible for training workers on the use of PPE?
Employers are assigned the duty of training their employees on PPE. They are also given the responsibility of providing them with necessary safety equipment to keep themselves protected.
Are plastic face shields effective?
Yes, plastic face shields are extremely effective. All of them protect you from sparks and dust while the thick layered one can even stop flying pieces from passing through.
Are face shields required for grinding?
Yes, they are! When you work in an environment where sparks, debris, and dust are flying around, you need to look after your face. Damage to your eyes, nose, ears or other facial features can result in health issues that affect you for your entire life. So, waste no time in purchasing yourself this important piece of protective equipment.
Paul, a graduate from the University of California, has been a Safety Advisor for over 5 years in USA. Along with his other 2 partners, who are professional bikers, he has been the chief of the headsafetyguard.com to create mass awareness on an often neglected issue: HEAD SAFETY