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What is BS EN 166:2020?

BS EN (British Standard European Norm) 166:2020 is a professional technical standard that outlines the requirements for eye protection equipment. Specifically, it provides guidelines and specifications for safety goggles and face shields to ensure they meet the necessary standards for protecting the eyes. Ensuring the safety of workers in various industries, such as manufacturing, construction, and healthcare, BS EN 166:2020 sets benchmarks for manufacturers, regulators, and users.

The Importance of Eye Protection

Eye protection plays a crucial role in safeguarding individuals from hazards that may cause eye injuries. In environments where there are potential risks such as flying debris, chemical splashes, or impact incidents, wearing appropriate eye protection is essential. BS EN 166:2020 aims to provide a comprehensive framework that enables employers and workers to choose and use protective eyewear effectively.

Key Requirements of BS EN 166:2020

BS EN 166:2020 emphasizes several key requirements to ensure the quality and effectiveness of eye protection equipment:

Optical Properties: The standard defines optical classes based on the level of visual quality provided by the eye protection equipment. These optical classes determine the clarity of vision and distortion levels when wearing the protective eyewear.

Mechanical Strength: The eyewear must be capable of withstanding mechanical impacts from particles, objects, or fragments, ensuring that they do not shatter or cause secondary injuries upon impact.

Chemical Resistance: Protective eyewear should offer resistance against various chemicals and prevent them from causing harm to the wearer's eyes in case of accidents or mishandling.

Compatibility: BS EN 166:2020 emphasizes the compatibility of safety goggles and face shields with other personal protective equipment (PPE) to ensure proper integration and maximum protection for the user.

Marking and Information: The standard requires suitable marking on the eyewear, providing critical information such as optical class, mechanical strength, and manufacturer details to help users select appropriate equipment for their needs.


BS EN 166:2020 serves as a benchmark for eye protection equipment manufacturers, regulators, and end-users by providing comprehensive guidelines for selecting and using protective eyewear effectively. By adhering to this professional technical standard, companies can enhance workplace safety and reduce the risk of eye injuries, ultimately ensuring the well-being of their employees.

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