Eye / Face Protection Policy

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The Association of Woodturners of Great Britain Eye Protection Policy


The purpose of this document is to clarify the policy of the wearing of protective eye and face equipment when using a woodturning lathe.


The use of the term PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) in this document refers to eye protective equipment.

The term eye and face protection will encompass safety spectacles, including prescription safety spectacles fitted with side protection, goggles and face shields, face screens and visors.


To help promote a healthy and safe attitude when working on the lathe, be it at a professional or hobby level, the AWGB has adopted guidance from the HSE as a minimum level. It is a crucial element in the promotion and maintenance of a positive health and safety culture and in achieving high standards of health and safety awareness at all levels throughout the Association.  Any subsequent revisions of this policy will be brought to the notice of our members.


It is the responsibility of each individual member to work safely and reduce the risk of injury caused through lathe operation. It is also the responsibility for those members that are concerned about unsafe practices at demonstrations and teaching practices to raise these concerns at the earliest convenience with the person practicing or the relevant supervisor.

It is also the responsibility of event organisers and demonstrators to protect audience members from harm.

Health and Safety is everyone’s responsibility.


PPE to be worn when turning is being undertaken on the lathe. Generally, a visor should be used for face plate / side grain work because the risk of a large piece of wood leaving the lathe is higher. For spindle / parallel grain work, goggles may be adequate but if in doubt, use a visor.

It will be worn when carrying out decorative work that is likely to cause flying chippings or dust or when applied decorative effects are in use and likely to splash whether on the lathe or off.

Protective eyewear should be worn when in the vicinity of rotating machinery under the control of an operator other than you.

Supervisors and tutors must ensure that all turners conform to this policy during training and hands on events and when undertaking private tuition.

PPE will be worn when decorative effects or finishes are applied with the lathe running.

All demonstrators and tutors must emphasise the use of protective eyewear.

Eye protection must be worn when using a bench grinder.

Care and maintenance

Safety eyewear should be cleaned regularly as per the manufacturer’s instructions. They should be scratch free and they should not be used if they are damaged in any way.

The HSE recommend they should be replaced according to the manufacturer’s replacement periods and shelf life. We recommend you find out what the manufacturers replacement period is before buying. If the information isn’t available, we suggest either buying a different product or assume that the equipment should be replaced after two years.

Ensure that the eye protection used has the correct rating for the task (EN166 “B” medium impact rating for general turning use) and fits the user properly. The ANSI Z87+ standard is broadly equivalent to the EN166 “B” rating.

For further reference

HSE website www.hse.gov.uk