Persons conducting a business or undertaking, or PCBUs, know about the worker safety rules in Australia. They must give personal protection equipment to their workers, and that includes protective eyewear. You should have them even if there is only a small risk of injury.
The eyes are very delicate, so even a bit of dust can be bad. However, protective eyewear comes in several types. What you need will depend on the risks to which you are exposed.
Safety glasses look like ordinary wraparound glasses because they have side shields. However, the frames and lenses are much stronger than those on ordinary glasses are. The lenses should not break when something strikes them at high speed. You need safety glasses when you work with wood or metal where chips or dust may be flying about. If you normally wear prescription glasses, they will not protect you. You will still need safety glasses big enough to fit over them.
Goggles are like safety glasses, but much larger and sturdier. Good quality goggles are resistant to chemicals, high pressure, and heat. They often have vents to keep toxic materials from draining near the eye area. You will need goggles when you work in a lab where chemicals or other toxic materials might splash on you. They also provide good protection when machining metal.
Face shields are the overlords of protective eyewear. They go over safety glasses or goggles, and are capable of protecting the entire face, as well. You should use a face shield when working with liquids under pressure, or liquids that can freeze or explode. You should also use it if you or someone in the same room works with dangerous chemical or biological materials that can be absorbed through the skin, nose or eyes.
You need to protect your eyes at all times, even if you think there is just a small risk of injury with the task at hand. The key is to never be complacent. Moreover, it is just as important to choose the right kind of protective eyewear for your needs. Ask a reputable supplier of personal protective equipment if you are not sure about what to get.