Focus on Choosing the Best Safety Glasses

90% of workplace injuries are preventable if the user had been wearing protective safety glasses.


Every year, an estimated 20,000 eye injuries occur in American workplaces, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) resulting in more than $300 million a year in lost production time, medical expenses and worker's compensation costs.


Are Safety Glasses Necessary?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) has established a standard for using, testing, marking, choosing, and maintaining eye protection. They have identified three main categories of eye protection: impact vs. non-impact, splash and dust protection, and optical radiation protection. All three are important to some extent in any specific job where hazardous substances or materials may be present. With all that said, OSHA does not require ANSI compliance for eye protection, so awareness of this standard is important.


Eye Injuries Are Typically the Result of Not Wearing Safety Glasses or Goggles

  • 60% of workers with eye injuries were not wearing the right kind of eye protection.

  • 70% of injuries result from falling/flying debris or sparks striking the eye.

  • 20% of injuries are the product of contact with chemicals.

  • 90% of workplace eye injuries are preventable if the user had been wearing protective safety glasses or goggles.


The Three Most Common Types of Workplace Eye Injuries

  • Striking or scraping: The majority of eye injuries result from small particles or objects striking or scraping the eye, such as: dust, cement chips, metal slivers and wood chips. These materials are often ejected by tools, windblown or fall from above a worker. Large objects may also strike the eye or face, or a worker may run into an object causing blunt-force trauma to the eyeball or eye socket.

  • Penetration: Objects like nails, staples or slivers of wood or metal can go through the eyeball and result in a permanent loss of vision.

  • Chemical and thermal burns: Industrial chemicals or cleaning products are common causes of chemical burns to one or both eyes. Thermal burns to the eye also occur, often among welders. These burns routinely damage workers' eyes and surrounding tissue.


Choosing the Best Style of Safety Glasses

When selecting personal protective equipment for your eyes, it’s important to take into consideration the type of glasses you might need for your specific work, what head sizes are needed, whether you need scratch resistant or anti-fog lens, etc. Below are a few types of glasses offered.


  • Frameless Safety Glasses – Frameless safety glasses are extremely lightweight, yet they still provide heavy-duty protection during applications such as construction, manufacturing, food processing and more.

  • Semi-Frame Wraparound Spatula Style Safety Glasses – These glasses feature wraparound lenses to provide added protection to the side of your face. The spatula temples can be adjusted for a custom and secure fit.

  • Semi-Frame Wraparound Bayonet Style Safety Glasses – These glasses provide heavy-duty protection during applications such as construction, light manufacturing, food processing, and utilities. Fashionable bayonet-style temples provide a secure and comfortable fit. Polycarbonate lenses provide wraparound protection.

  • Full Frame Safety Glasses – Full frame eyewear offers a classic look and all-around frontal and side protection.

  • Metal Frame Safety Glasses – Sporty, metal frames are typically available on our website at affordable prices.

  • Safety Glasses with Sideshields – Safety glasses with sideshields provide superior impact protection to the front and sides of the face, without blocking vision.

  • Over the Glass Eyewear – "Over the Glasses" styling offers an alternative to expensive prescription eyewear programs.

  • Polarized Safety Glasses – By reflecting light to reduce glare, Polarized safety glasses help eliminate eye strain, eye fatigue, and poor visual acuity. Glasses are ideal for any work around water, construction, road, work, or utilities applications.

  •  Readers Safety Glasses – Readers are an excellent choice for workers needing increased magnification for close-up inspection, fine detail work, and reading smaller print.


Related: Read more about the anti-fog lens safety glasses we recommend here.


How Polarized Lenses Work

Polarized lenses are coated with tiny vertical stripes that only allow vertically angled light to enter the wearer's eyes. Glare is eliminated because the horizontal light waves cannot bypass the vertical filter.


As a result of this filtering, the image you see with polarized lenses is a bit darker than usual. But objects look crisper and clearer with polarized lenses, and details are easier to see.


People who wear polarized sunglasses typically report their eyes are less tired than usual after hours in the sun. Polarized sunglasses are an ideal choice for many outdoor jobs, specifically jobs that involve long days working near water or snow, because the lenses drastically reduce the amount of glare that reaches the eye.


Keep in mind that most sunglasses labeled as blocking ultraviolet (UV) rays, may not be polarized. Polarized lenses will always be labeled as such. If a pair of sunglasses is not specifically labeled as polarized, they probably aren't.


Related: Does lens color of safety glasses really matter? Read our lens color guide here.


Top Picks For Best Safety Glasses Available From Wesco Safety


Direct Safety® Dakota Clear Safety Glasses

This versatile and economical safety eyewear offers the flexibility to fit any face shape. One-piece wraparound clear polycarbonate lens produces full brow protection and a wide, unobstructed field of vision.


3M™ SecureFit™ 400 Series Safety Sunglasses

This eyewear features proprietary 3M™ Pressure Diffusion Temple Technology, so there are no moving parts and nothing to adjust. As soon as you put on these lightweight glasses, you'll feel the difference as they automatically self-adjust to provide a secure, comfortable fit. The 400 Series offers the added features of a soft, adjustable nose pad and dual-injected padded temples. The polycarbonate anti-fog lenses absorb 99.9% of UV rays.


3M™ Sunwear Polarized Safety Glasses

These 3M safety glasses offer a streamlined frame design with attitude and bold style. By reflecting polarized light that causes glare, polarized safety glasses help eliminate eye strain, eye fatigue and poor visual acuity. The removable foam-lined gasket helps provide cushioned protection against impact, sun, wind and nuisance dust.


3M™ Nuvo Safety Glasses with Sideshields

This retro-style eyewear has the look of a classic dual lens, but it's actually a lightweight one-piece lens with all the function and performance advantages. Glasses offer the versatility of adjustable length temples and the added comfort of soft tips on the temples and a universal fit nosepiece. Polycarbonate lenses protect against high impact.


Uvex Astrospec 3000™ Safety Glasses with Sideshields

You'll see why classic styling, unique adjustability and an assortment of colors make the Astrospec 3000 an all-time favorite. The adjustable temple and lens inclination produce a custom fit. The single panoramic polycarbonate lens is impact resistant. Small sizes measure 10mm less across and have a shorter temple length.


Feel free to contact our Safety Support Team to help you select the best safety glasses for your particular workplace. In almost any situation you have, we can offer you options that fit your budget or specific needs, allowing your employees to work comfortably and efficiently.



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