Steel or not, nobody should be allowed anywhere near a range without proper eye and ear protection, and that includes spectators as well. Regarding steel, I've never been to a CAS shoot, either as a spectator or competitor, where I wasn't peppered at some point with lead splash - no big deal with eye protection, but potentially blinding without.
NRA Benefactor Life Member
NRA Certified Pistol Instructor
Pemigewasset Valley Fish & Game Club