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How To Choose Safety Glasses – A Buyer’s Guide

Protect your workers’ eyes from workplace hazards with the right safety glasses. Learn about features, types, and maintenance for optimal protection and peace of mind.

Eye injuries can happen in an instant, but the consequences can be long-lasting. 

Did you know that, according to the U.S Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 18,510 eye-related injuries were registered in 2020 alone? The same source reports that the main cause of eye injuries was contact with objects or equipment (11,980 cases) while exposure to harmful substances accounted for 4,830 cases.

Whether you’re operating in a buzzing construction site, a manufacturing plant, or in the controlled environment of a lab, safety glasses are everything that stands between harmful particles and your workers’ eyes. 

In this practical guide, we will provide you with all the essential information you need to make informed decisions and buy the best safety glasses and goggles for your workers. 

Here are the topics we will cover in this article:

  1. Understanding the Importance of Safety Glasses
  2. Key Features to Look for in Safety Glasses
  3. Types of Safety Glasses
  4. Safety Glasses Standards and Certifications
  5. Tips for Maintaining Your Safety Glasses
  6. Your Frequently Asked Questions
According to the U.S Bureau Of Labor Statistics, 18,510 eye-related injuries were registered in 2020 alone.


Understanding the Importance of Safety Glasses

Your eyes are one of the most delicate and vulnerable parts of your body. From flying debris, dust, chemicals, and harmful radiation, you and your workers can encounter a multitude of hazards every day.

Safety glasses act as a shield, preventing these hazards from reaching your eyes and causing potential damage. Some models also come with impact-resistant lenses that can withstand high-velocity projectiles, shielding your eyes from injuries. These lenses are generally made from durable materials like polycarbonate, which is known for its strength and ability to resist impact.

On top of that, safety glasses can also offer protection against harmful UV rays, reducing the risk of long-term damage such as cataracts, macular degeneration, and even cancer of the eye.


Safety glasses also come with impact-resistant lenses and some models can also offer protection against harmful UV rays.



Key Features to Look for in Safety Glasses

When selecting the best safety glasses for your work environment and use cases, always consider the following factors:

  1. Material and Durability: Opt for safety glasses made from durable materials, such as polycarbonate. These lenses are highly impact-resistant, ensuring your workers’ eyes are protected from potential hazards. Polycarbonate lenses are not only lightweight but also offer excellent optical clarity, allowing you to see clearly without compromising safety. Additionally, look for glasses with scratch-resistant coatings to prolong their lifespan. This feature helps your safety glasses remain in good condition, even after prolonged use in rugged environments.

  2. Chemical protection: Some safety glasses are made from materials that are resistant to chemicals and other hazardous substances – think about workers in a lab, or workers tasked with industrial cleaning. This added durability ensures that their eyes are shielded from potential harm caused by splashes or spills.

  3. Lens Coating and UV Protection: Safety glasses with anti-fog and anti-scratch coatings are ideal, as they provide clearer vision and prevent distracting fog buildup. These coatings help maintain a clear line of sight, even in challenging conditions, ensuring that your workers can focus on their tasks without any hindrance. You can also choose glasses that offer UV protection to safeguard your workers’ eyes from harmful radiation. Additionally, some safety glasses come with polarized lenses, which reduce glare and improve visual clarity. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals working in bright or reflective environments, such as construction sites or laboratories.

  4. Comfort and Fit: As with all PPE supplies, conform and right fit are a must-have to guarantee effective and prolonged protection. Look for safety glasses with adjustable features, such as nose pads and temple arms. This will prevent discomfort and encourage regular use. Safety glasses with a lightweight design and ergonomic shape also contribute to overall comfort, allowing your workers to wear them for longer durations without experiencing fatigue. Some models also come with foam padding or cushioning around the frame, providing an extra layer of comfort and preventing pressure marks on the face. This feature is particularly beneficial for individuals who wear safety glasses for extended periods or those who require a snug fit for added protection. Lastly, whenever possible, look for models with adjustable features to accommodate different face shapes and sizes.



Types of Safety Glasses

As with all PPE supplies, there are many types of safety glasses and safety goggles available on the market nowadays. Each type offers unique features and benefits that cater to different situations and hazards.

Here are the main types of safety glasses you can choose from: 

  1. Over-The-Glass Safety Glasses: These are a suitable option for all your workers who wear prescription eyeglasses. These safety glasses are specifically designed to fit comfortably over regular glasses, providing your workers with the necessary eye protection without compromising their vision. Some models even feature adjustable temples and nose pads, providing a secure and comfortable fit for everyone.

  2. Prescription Safety Glasses: For those who require prescription eyewear, prescription safety glasses offer the best of both worlds. These glasses have lenses that correct the wearer’s vision while providing the required impact resistance and protection against hazards. Whether you need single-vision, bifocal, or progressive lenses, prescription safety glasses can be customized to meet your specific needs.

  3. Safety Goggles: Safety goggles are the go-to choice for eye protection in all environments where splashes or high-dust hazards occur. These goggles offer complete coverage for your workers’ eyes by providing a seal around them, protecting them from hazards like liquids, chemicals, and fumes. Safety goggles are designed to fit snugly against the face, and they often feature an adjustable strap or an elastic band to keep them in place, even during vigorous activities. Some models also come with anti-fog coatings or ventilation systems to prevent fogging and maintain clear vision.

As a last note, remember, that regardless of the type of safety glasses you choose, it is important to check that they meet the necessary safety standards and regulations. Further details on this will be covered in the next section.

Browse our full selection of safety glasses and safety goggles from Europe’s top-trusted suppliers.



Safety Glasses Standards and Certifications

As we covered in the previous sections, there are many different types of safety glasses and safety goggles with several different features available for you on the market.

However, before you proceed with a purchase, always make sure that your selected model has the following standards and certifications: 

  1. ANSI Z87.1 Standard: The ANSI Z87.1 standard sets the requirements for safety glasses and other protective eyewear. This standard was developed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) to guarantee that safety glasses provide sufficient impact resistance and optical clarity. When safety glasses are ANSI Z87.1 certified, it means they have undergone rigorous testing to meet the highest safety standards. When you see the ANSI Z87.1 certification on a pair of safety glasses, you can have peace of mind knowing that they have been tested and proven to protect your workers’ eyes from potential hazards. These glasses are designed to withstand high-velocity impacts, such as flying debris or projectiles, ensuring that the wearer’s eyes remain safe and unharmed. Moreover, the ANSI Z87.1 standard also ensures that safety glasses offer excellent optical clarity. This means that they can worn for extended periods without experiencing visual discomfort or distortion.

  2. EN166 Standard: The EN166 standard is a European certification for personal eye protection. EN166 certified safety glasses are subjected to rigorous testing to evaluate their resistance to impacts from various angles and energies. They are also tested for their ability to withstand drops, ensuring that they remain intact even in the event of accidental falls. Additionally, these glasses are evaluated for their practical performance, taking into account factors such as optical quality, field of vision, and compatibility with other personal protective equipment. 
Browse our full selection of safety glasses and safety goggles from Europe’s top-trusted suppliers.


Tips for Maintaining Your Safety Glasses

To guarantee effective and prolonged protection, consider the following tips:

  1. Cleaning Your Safety Glasses: Regularly clean your safety glasses with mild soap and water to remove dirt, debris, and smudges. This will not only keep them looking clean and clear but also help maintain their optical clarity. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasive materials that may damage the lenses. Instead, opt for a gentle cleaning solution that won’t compromise the integrity of the lens coatings. When cleaning your safety glasses, pay special attention to the nose pads and temple tips, as these areas often accumulate sweat, oil, and dirt. After cleaning, make sure to dry your safety glasses thoroughly before storing them. Excess moisture can lead to fogging or damage to the lens coatings. Use a clean, lint-free cloth to gently pat them dry, taking care not to scratch the lenses.

  2. Storing Your Safety Glasses: When not in use, store your safety glasses in a protective case to prevent scratches or breakage. A sturdy case will shield them from accidental bumps or drops, ensuring their longevity. Avoid leaving them on a tabletop or tossing them into a bag without proper protection, as this can lead to unnecessary damage.

  3. Replacing Your Safety Glasses: Over time, safety glasses may become damaged or lose their effectiveness. It’s important to know when it’s time to replace them to maintain optimal eye protection. Regularly inspect your safety glasses to make sure they are in good condition. One of the most obvious signs that your safety glasses need replacing is the presence of scratches on the lenses. Scratches can impair your vision and compromise the integrity of the lens coatings, reducing their ability to protect your eyes. If you notice any significant scratches, it’s time to invest in a new pair. Cracks in the frames or lenses are another clear indication that your safety glasses need replacing. Even small cracks can weaken the structure and compromise the overall effectiveness of the glasses. Loose frames can be a nuisance and a safety hazard. If your safety glasses no longer fit snugly on your face or if the frames feel loose, it’s time for a replacement. Ill-fitting glasses can easily slip off or fail to provide adequate protection, rendering them useless in hazardous environments. Lastly, keep an eye out for any signs of degraded lens coatings. If you notice any peeling, flaking, or discolouration of the coatings, it’s a clear indication that your safety glasses are past their prime and need to be replaced.



Your Frequently Asked Questions

  1. How often should I replace my safety glasses? Replace your safety glasses when you notice signs of wear, such as scratches, cracks, or degraded lens coatings. Additionally, if your safety glasses no longer fit securely, it is time for a replacement.

  2. Can I use safety glasses instead of safety goggles? In environments with splash or high-dust hazards, safety goggles offer better protection due to their seal around the eyes.

  3. Do safety glasses provide UV protection? Some safety glasses offer UV protection, but not all of them. Look for glasses specifically labelled as providing UV protection if this is a concern for your work environment.

  4. Can I wear safety glasses over my regular eyeglasses? Yes, over-the-glass safety glasses are designed to fit comfortably over your regular eyeglasses, allowing you to maintain clear vision while protecting your eyes from hazards.
Browse our full selection of safety glasses and safety goggles from Europe’s top-trusted suppliers.



Conclusion

Whether you’re operating in a buzzing construction site, a manufacturing plant, or in the controlled environment of a lab, safety glasses are everything that stands between harmful particles and your workers’ eyes. 

Nowadays, there are several models with different safety features available on the market. Thus, before you proceed with a purchase, always check that your model of choice is suitable for your use cases and that it offers the right type of protection from the hazards present in your work environment.

On top of that, always remember to check for the safety standards ANSI Z87.1  and EN166 before you place an order. Next, we recommend you check our full selection of safety glasses and safety goggles from Europe’s top-trusted suppliers or get in touch with our experts for a free consultation.

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