Safety glasses are designed to limit eye exposure to a variety of hazards such as impact, irritants and optical radiation. Depending on your work environment, wearing personal protective equipment over your eyes may be advisable. Here are five tips for getting the most out of prescription safety glasses or safety glasses with non-prescription lenses on the job.
1. Select Professional Frames
The frames you choose for workplace wear should be practical and task-oriented. Casual, lifestyle or fashion glasses frames are only suitable for work environments without eye safety risks. Depending on your work environment, you may require standard safety glasses with clear or tinted lenses, advanced safety glasses that provide high mass and velocity impact protection or specialized eyewear such as welding glasses.
If you run the risk of eye exposure to impact, chemicals, heat, dust or radiation, you should select safety glasses frames with shatterproof lenses. The strength of your prescription and work environment may determine whether sporty frames or more conventional safety glasses are the most comfortable and professional choice.
2. Check the Safety Standards
The most important factor for choosing safety glasses is the level of protection frames and lenses provide. One of the most common eye safety standards is the American National Standards Institute Z87.1 standard. This standard covers impact and other hazards such as dust, liquid splash or optical radiation.
Frames and lenses may meet the basic standard or satisfy requirements for high mass and velocity impact or ballistic ratings. The leading ballistic fragmentation standards are maintained by the U.S. Military. International organizations have similar standards. Check the description of a particular pair of glasses and confirm levels of protection with markings visible on the inside of frame and lenses.
3. Order Prescription Safety Glasses
Browse or search for frames by trusted safety glasses manufacturers. When you find a style you like, check the size options and dimensions of the frames. Depending on head size, small, medium or large frames may be the most comfortable option. In addition to staying in place while you work and providing maximum optical clarity, safety glasses must also have a good fit to provide the stated level of protection.
If a pair of frames is sized to fit your face, it’s time to customize the lenses. Some frame styles are compatible with a range of prescription strengths, while other styles can accommodate stronger prescriptions. Make sure the frames you are chosen are suitable for your prescription and choose from clear, light adjusting or tinted single vision or multifocal lenses.
4. Protect Lenses Between Use
If you wear safety glasses as part of your workplace personal protective equipment, be sure to store this eyewear in a protective case between uses. The most common safety glasses lens material is polycarbonate, which is resistant to shattering but prone to develop scratches.
Preventing safety glasses from getting scratched is important for prescription and non-prescription lenses. Prescription lenses may become more difficult to see through once scratches form and this damage can diminish optical radiation protection.
5. Promote Workplace Eye Protection
Prioritizing eye safety in a workplace reduces preventable injuries and unnecessary risk. Everyone who works in environments with known eye safety risks should always wear suitable protective equipment. Make sure that the frames or lenses you choose for on-the-job wear are rated to protect against any hazards that are present.
Safety glasses with non-prescription or tinted lenses are ideal for eye protection from workplace hazards and optical radiation. Prescription safety glasses correct your vision and eliminate the need to layer protective non-prescription eyewear over contacts or prescription glasses. Depending on the frames, you can wear safety glasses as everyday eyewear or dedicated PPE.