Safety glasses are an important personal protective equipment (PPE) item that can prevent a wide range of workplace eye injuries. In fact, they can reduce the risk of these injuries by up to 90%!
The best safety glasses protect your eyes from debris, dust and liquids. They also provide durability and comfort.
Choosing the right lenses can make all the difference in your safety glasses’ performance and protection. You’ll want to choose the best lens material for your particular work situation.
Glass is usually the least protective material for safety glasses because it’s prone to shattering and doesn’t offer much UV protection. Polycarbonate is a popular choice because it’s lighter than glass and more impact-resistant.
Often, a polarized coating is offered on plastic and polycarbonate lenses, so that light doesn’t reflect back at your eyes and impede vision. These coatings also help to eliminate glare, which can be especially dangerous in outdoor applications.
Frames play an important role in the effectiveness of safety glasses. They determine how the glasses fit on your face and whether you can wear them comfortably while working or playing.
They also help prevent eye injuries. For example, a frame with side shields can protect your eyes from flying particles and objects such as sand and dirt.
Safety glasses must pass a high mass impact test, in which a quarter-inch steel ball is shot at the lens and frame multiple times. This test ensures that the glasses will not crack, chip or break apart during an accident.
Anti-reflective coatings can improve your vision, reduce glare and eye strain, and even enhance your appearance. They also help to keep your lenses clean, making it easier to remove dirt and grime.
ARCs typically consist of microscopic layers of metallic oxides, each of which impacts different wavelengths of light. These layers are applied using a vacuum coating process.
A basic interference anti-reflective coating reduces reflection for a large band of frequencies and incidence angles, depending on the layer’s thickness. In air, for example, a quarter-wave coating gives zero reflectance for all but those with a wavelength equal to four times the thickness of the coating.
Another type of coating is called an “absorbing ARC,” which uses unusual optical properties of compound thin films to produce very low reflectivity with few layers. These coatings are generally more expensive than standard non-absorbing ARCs, but they may be more suitable in some applications where high transmission through a lens is not essential.
Regardless of your job, it’s important to choose the right pair of safety glasses. That means finding the best combination of lens coatings, tints/colors and welding filter shades for your specific needs.
One of the most common choices is clear lenses. They are the most versatile and ideal for a variety of tasks.
For glare reduction, consider anti-reflective safety lenses, which reduce the reflections of light from the surface of the lens. This reduces halo and starburst effects from sudden, strong light sources.
Another option is photochromic safety glasses, which change from clear to a darker shade when exposed to UV rays. These allow workers to keep a single pair of sunglasses on while working in variable lighting conditions, which increases eye protection.
Eye protection is a critical part of any worker’s job. ANSI certification ensures that safety glasses are made to withstand the most common workplace hazards.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) is a nonprofit organization that establishes and approves industry-wide standards. They work with companies, consumer groups, government agencies and other bodies to develop uniform testing guidelines and definitions.
Wiley X safety glasses are certified to ANSI Z87.1+, which means they have passed the most severe impact and clarity tests possible. That means our frames and lenses withstand the impact of a 68g steel ball traveling 150 fps and a 1.1lb projectile dropped from a 50″ height.