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Safety Glasses and Protective Eyewear Guide

Monday, January 25, 2021

Alina Jacob

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Do you frequently go out fishing/hunting with your friends or family? Or do you enjoy working on DIY projects at home? It would be best if you protect your eyes by wearing safety eyewear. According to research conducted by Preventive Blindness America, every year 700, 000 people suffer from eye injuries at work, while around 125,000 people get eye injuries at home. About 40,000 people, including kids, get an eye injury during sports. Most of these eye injuries can be prevented by wearing safety glasses.

How are Safety Glasses different from Regular Glasses?

Safety glasses are made of lightweight polycarbonate material and can conform to high resistance against projectile, bullets, and flying objects. Safety glasses can be used with both prescription lenses and non-prescription lenses.

  1. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) in the US Department of Labor established safety guidelines to minimize work related injuries. It follows standards set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a nonprofit organization that establishes quality and safety standards for various products.

ANSI Standards for Safety Eyewear

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) 's eye safety standards include:

  • Lenses need to be tested for basic impact tests and high impact classification. For a basic test, lenses are tested separately without putting them in frames. While for high impact tests, lenses are mounted in frames and tested collectively.
  • Prescription lenses taken for high impact tests should be thicker than prescription lenses. (a minimum of 3mm) However, prescription lenses that conform to high impact resistance are allowed now.
  • For performance, lenses are tested under basic impact and high impact. For basic impact, a steel ball of one-inch diameter is dropped over the lens from a height of 50 inches. While for high impact test, a quarter-inch steel ball is fired at the speed of 150 feet/s. The lens shouldn't crack, chip, or break to conform to the basic impact test. For plastic lenses, a large sample is tested.

Similarly, frames are also tested for high mass impact, durability, and high-velocity impact.

Safety Indicators for Lenses and Frames 

When buying safety glasses, it's essential to see if they conform to ANSI's safety standards. You need to look for

  • '+' mark indicates approval for high impact.
  • 'V' and 'S' mark: V mark indicates lenses are photochromic while 'S' mark implies special tint. Sometimes a number is also mentioned to show how the tint is reducing much light transmission.

For frames, you need to check:

  • Z87 for basic impact test or Z87+ for high impact test, on either the front of the frame or on the temple
  • For prescription safety glasses, 'Z87-2' is marked on the front of the frame or both temples.

What type of Safety Glasses do I need at work?

Your company guides you on the level of protection you need for your work. However, we have listed some basic instructions for choosing your safety eyewear. If you work in manufacturing and construction, you require lenses with high impact resistance, especially for those working in areas with projectile materials, dust, debris, etc.

You may also need to wear side shields or full face protection to minimize the risks. If you work as an independent contractor, it's advisable to wear safety glasses that have been marked with a high impact standard.

Which Safety Glasses Are Best for Home?

If you love working around DIY projects at home or love mowing lawns, you should buy safety eyewear to minimize the risks of eye injuries.

You can buy safety glasses from your online retailer or browse online. There are thousands of options available. Choose a pair that is marked with Z87-2 to ensure it conforms to high impact resistance. If you wear corrective lenses or suffer from presbyopia, you can get prescription safety glasses marked with safety standards.

Which Safety Glasses are best for sports?

Around 40000 injuries every year are caused by sports. Whether you love biking or shooting/hunting, safety glasses can help you give your best by providing a distortion-free sight and minimizing the risks of eye injuries. While choosing safety glasses for sports, you must consider the following things

  • Sports/Safety glasses should meet the ANSI high mass and high-velocity impact standards
  • It should fit securely and contour to your face shape.
  • It should come with comfortable nose pads so you can wear them easily during prolonged activities.
  • Enhance contrast and minimize glare and fog

You can also get your safety glasses by adding an anti-reflective coating. It reduces lens reflection, thus minimizing glare. However, the safety glasses should be tested for high impact after applying the coating. If you wear corrective lenses, get prescription safety glasses.

If you need a flexible pair that can go well with all sports and weather /sunlight conditions, choose photochromic/transition lenses. These lenses help you to see clearly by adjusting to the light. These lenses automatically darken in bright sunlight, and tint disappears when the sunsets.

We hope this article helps and guides you in choosing your safety wear. You can buy these safety glasses from both retailers and online stores. At eyeweb.com, we offer a wide range of eyewear, including prescription glasses, sportswear, safety glasses.

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Alina Jacob

I am Alina, a professional marketer and blogger. For the past 20 years, I have been contributing to various blogs related to health, beauty, travel, food, fashion, technology, sports, business, and finance.

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