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The plastic shield face mask is becoming a more and more commonplace choice for workplace PPE solutions, offering comprehensive protection for the face’s extremities while also doing its part to stem the spread of germs. But there are actually various types of face shields out there, each with its own advantages and disadvantages. We put this article together to break down some of the most common forms, so you know what to look for when you’re next searching for a long-term PPE solution.
The headband face shield is pretty much the standard shape from which most face shields are made. Most of the other types of shields on this list will utilize the basic shape and design of a headband face shield, with the shield that comes down from your forehead and is held in place with a padded headband. These are the standard plastic face shields for Covid-19 and workplace protection, but they don’t cover your hair, so aren’t the best for food prep areas.
In many cases, a disposable face shield will basically be a headband face shield, just made from flimsier, lower-quality materials. The trick’s in the name, these aren’t a permanent choice, but they’re a good grab and go option if you’re going to need a face shield sporadically. You can also get replacement visors for face shields that are slightly flimsier, but not entirely disposable.
Food preparation spaces were some of the hardest-hit workplaces of the pandemic, which is why it was vital for many of them to step up their PPE game. For high-traffic food prep areas guarding ingredients against mouth and nose droplets is just part of the battle, which is why food-grade face shields add some hair containment for an added degree of protection and security.
While you can generally adjust or take off face shields with ease, there is a form specifically designed for the sake of convenience. Pivoting face shields allow you to pivot the screen at your leisure, perfect for food breaks or for those moments where you need to trust your naked eyes.
One of the primary criticisms regarding plastic face shields is their lack of peripheral protection, which a wider visored shield can help towards remedying. They’re just the same as headband or food-grade face shields, just with much wider visors for protecting more of the face.
There are certain face shields designed with goggles built-in or made to operate with the use of separate and specific goggles. These are designed to comprehensively protect the eyes, while still offering the additional protections that a plastic face shield can offer.
If you’re still scratching your head and wondering “what type of face shield is best?”, you have to consider each of the formats in the context that you’ll be working within. If you’re in a kitchen, of course, go for a food-grade face shield. In a laboratory, maybe a goggle-style pair will suit you better. There’s no exact answer – just consider what you need for your safety and the safety of those around you in your workplace.
Check out our range of face shields to see if you can source the right one for you.