Many potential hazards pose dangers to the eyes and face. It is an OSHA requirement that all employees have adequate access to protection if they are faced with eye and face hazards including flying particles, molten metals, liquid chemicals, acids, caustic liquids, chemical gases, vapors and potentially harmful light radiation.

Prescription corrective lenses are unable to provide sufficient protection against the majority of occupational eye injuries. Employees with corrective eye wear need to be provided with eye protection that incorporates the protection into the design or, alternatively, wear eye protection over their prescription lenses. However, the prescription eyewear must not interfere with the use of the prescription lenses.

Potential eye or face injuries include dust, dirt or metal wood chips, chemical splashes from corrosive materials, hot liquids, solvents, and other hazardous solutions. Objects may also swing into the face and eyes from things like tree limbs, chains, tools and ropes. Radiant energy from welding, harmful rays from the use of lasers, or other radiant light can also be hazardous to the eyes.

Selecting the best and most suitable eye and face protection should take into account the ability to protect against specific workplace hazards, as well as being durable and easily cleaned.