Last Updated on January 18, 2022 by Stephen Paul Robertson
Face shields are a type of PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) that keeps your face protected at all costs. People mostly wear them while carrying out a task like welding, grinding, plumbing, painting, etc. to prevent sparks and debris from harming their face.
With the pandemic slowly crumbling the world into pieces, face shields have started to become an item that people regularly wear. The number of viruses and bacteria reaching one’s face is cut down gravely, maintaining their good health.
Want to learn how to use a face shield? Stick around to learn all you need to know about face shields!
Importance of Face Shields
When worn while carrying out strenuous activities on a construction site, a face shield will act as a protective layer around your face. You can easily block out sparks, dust, and debris that are associated with welding and grinding tasks, meaning you are less likely to get hurt. An added layer of protection is also offered for the wearer’s delicate eye.
For many professions, face shields also manage to cut down the possibilities of impact hazards. Broken parts of equipment or debris are stopped from slashing one’s face and leaving permanent scars. As fewer heat rays reach a person’s face, strong Infra-Red rays are not allowed to cause burns, and overall is also decreased.
Face shields also prevent water droplets from transmitting to a person’s face. One hence does not have to worry about contracting germs if somebody in their surroundings sneezes, coughs, or breathes. When worn while walking out in the sun, your face is also kept away from UV rays, minimizing the chances of getting skin cancer.
While wearing a face shield, despite receiving full protection, the wearer can maintain easy communication. This makes it ideal for use in healthcare facilities, as doctors can talk to patients or colleagues without facing any hindrance.
Many face shields also do not react with chemicals. Such options can be worn by lab technicians, chemists, and scientists to shield their faces from chemical splashes that could otherwise result in major health issues.
How to Use a Face Shield
Putting on a face shield is a relatively easy task. Here are some simple steps that you need to follow in order to ensure a snug fit.
- With your fingers, open the straps so that both are resting on either hand. While doing so, make sure your hand does not contact the front plastic layer of the shield.
- Tuck in the elastic strap behind your ears so that they wrap around the back of your head.
- Before fixating the straps onto a designated position, adjust the shield till it properly covers your entire face. None of the sides should be sticking out as that would mean the opposite side is left exposed. Your face shield’s forehead band should also be aligned in a manner that lets it rest around 3 cm above your eyebrows. There also should not be any room left in between your forehead and the headband.
- Fasten the straps into position so that the face shield is not too tight or too loose. It should not slide off of your face or leave any red marks.
- Pull down the shield and adjust its screws and parts to make sure it firmly sits in its place. A face shield that moves around will only cause you inconvenience.
Face Shield Cleaning Instructions After Using
A face shield needs to be kept clean so that one can receive optical clarity. That way, the face shield will cause them no trouble while working. However, the problem lies in the fact that face shields are extremely sensitive and do not react well with the chemicals present in most cleaners. So, before you start carrying out any of these activities, make sure the materials used for cleaning are approved by the manufacturer.
Get a bucketful of lukewarm water and place your face shield within it. After leaving it this way for hours, any particle stuck on its surface will loosen up its grip. So, you can use a cotton swab or a piece of cloth to get rid of any impurities from the surface.
Using water and a piece of cloth, dampen the face shield’s entire surface. You should now rub some soap onto the damp cloth’s surface and slowly rinse the plastic shield’s surface. This will help in removing all germs and dust from the face shield.
While doing this, make sure not to use paper towels or scrub too hard as otherwise, you will be left with several scratches.
Initiate the cleaning process by thoroughly rubbing the entire surface of your face shield using alcohol wipes. This will disinfect the face shield’s surface from any micro-organisms or dust present.
To remove the alcohol from the face shield, you should now clean it with soapy water and a damp piece of cloth. Do not scrub too hard and dry the plastic surface using a parched piece of cloth to make sure no watermarks are formed.
Types of Face Shields
As face shields are used in a huge number of fields, various types are available to suit each profession’s needs. These types vary depending on the difference in face shield’s material and build.
Single-use face shields are a kind that is widely preferred for regular usage. These are disposable and cheap, but they have to be thrown out after using them for a day.
Food-grade face shields are the kind that will be used by the foodservice industry. Servers and chefs will wear them while cooking, plating, and handing out food to make sure no germs from the mouth or nose travel to a customer’s food.
Headband face shields and pivot face shields are other common types that can be used by doctors, manufacturing plants, schools, and businesses. These start from the wearer’s head and end at the chin, making sure a person’s entire face is completely covered.
Headgear face shields or face shields with built-in goggles are the kinds usually utilized in construction sites. This is because of their added protectiveness, which helps in toning down the risks associated with such jobs. Many a time, wearing such face shields can make the difference between life and death.
If you are confused about which face shield to choose, here are some options that you can grab a quick look at!
Frequently Asked Questions
Should a full face shield be worn when welding?
Yes, full face shields are required while welding to make sure sparks or heat do not cause harm to your face. In case the welding machine or the material you are working on chips or cracks, it is very likely that the piece will fly towards your face at high velocity. A face shield will prevent these parts from slashing your face or eyes.
What type of eye protection is needed for heavy grinding?
For grinding, workers must sport a safety glass or goggles. For an added layer of protection, people can also wear a face shield, which also does an amazing job of keeping the face away from sparks.
What PPE should you wear when using an angle grinder?
While running an angle grinder, people are required to wear face shields, safety glasses or goggles, protective boots, and tough gloves. These will make sure all parts of your body are kept away from the harm that sparks and dust can cause.
How do I know my face shield is positioned correctly?
Once you have worn your face shield, no gap should be present between the headband and forehead. It should also start from 3 cm above your eyebrows and end below your chin while covering your entire face. After putting on your face shield, if these conditions are met, it is positioned correctly.
As you now know how to use a face shield, do wear it properly to keep your face well-guarded. Several importances have also been presented to make our readers aware of all the benefits that this PPE brings. Do not forget that regular maintenance is also essential to keep it clean and ensure full visibility. Work safely and have fun!
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