Are prescription eyeglasses considered safety glasses?
Every year, millions of prescription glasses are sold in the USA and UK. You are sure to find a pair that suits all your needs, whether you are searching for youryour next pair. The online retailer Rx-Safety, for example, offers a wide range of prescription glasses, ranging from stylish and sophisticated models to prescription suited to challenging and challenging environments.
We are sure that you will come across a question that may affect your working life when browsing our collection (or that of any other eyewear retailer’s collection). Specifically, you may ask yourself whether prescription eyeglasses qualify as safety eyeglasses.
This is especially relevant if you work at a job that requires you to wear safety glasses on the job. If you work in an environment with flying dust or debris, your employer may supply you with safety glasses, however, you may prefer a different pair. In addition to satisfying your work requirements, you may also prefer a pair of glasses that is stylish and functional when you are not at work in addition to satisfying your work requirements.
As a result of this article, we intend to clarify some of the confusion surrounding this topic. It is important to know these facts in order to select the proper prescription eyeglasses that meet all of your workplace safety requirements. And spoiler alert: some prescription eyeglasses may be considered safety eyeglasses as well.
The difference between prescription glasses and safety glasses
In order to better understand the difference between prescription glasses and safety glasses, it is imperative to discuss the primary differences between the two. For the most part, prescription eyeglasses are not the same as safety eyeglasses. This is due to several factors.
In the first place, prescription glasses and safety glasses are often made from different materials. Prescription glasses may be made from different plastics or metals (such as Zyl and Monel), while safety glasses are constructed from stronger materials because they provide additional eye protection.
Prescription glasses have lenses that provide a higher degree of clarity, but they do not provide as much protection or durability as safety glass lenses. For example, polycarbonate lenses are the most commonly used lens material for safety glasses. In addition to being lighter and more impact-resistant than glass lenses, polycarbonate lenses are tested to determine if they can withstand intense stress, as we will discuss below.
It is common for safety glasses to contain additional features in addition to the frame and lens materials that can provide additional protection to wearers. You can see, for example, that many safety glasses available at Rx-Safety include optional side shields. These shields can enhance wearer safety by preventing dust and debris from flying.
Overall, safety glasses serve one purpose: to provide safety. Conversely, prescription glasses give you the ability to see better. However, prescription glasses are often not as durable as safety glasses and may break under extreme circumstances.
There are some exceptions to this rule
Despite the clear distinctions between prescription eyeglasses and safety eyeglasses, there are specific circumstances where prescription eyeglasses can qualify as safety eyeglasses. It is necessary to determine whether or not prescription eyeglasses are specifically designed to provide safety eye protection. Eyewear for safety purposes must be impact resistant at a higher level than a pair of prescription glasses. The American National Standards Institute (“ANSI”) has established the most widely recognized standards in eyewear.
The American National Standards Institute is a private, nonprofit organization that develops voluntary consensus standards for products and services in the U.S. and UK. Due to ANSI’s strong reputation, even OSHA, which is responsiblesafety in the US/UK, relies on ANSI to determine whether specific eyewear provides adequate protection to workers while on the job.
It is therefore important to check whether prescription eyeglasses meet ANSI standards in order to determine if they are considered safety glasses. ANSI standards cover many different types of eyewear. You can find them here. Most commonly, however, you will find safety glasses that meet ANSI standards such as Z87, which can be found here.
The eyeglass must pass several types of tests in order to comply with any of these standards. For example, there is the “ball drop test” which involves dropping a steel ball (weighing approximately 2.4 ounces) from a height of 50 inches. Eyeglasses must pass this test if the lenses and frames remain intact. The “high-velocity test” involves the shooting of a quarter-inch steel ball at 20 specific impact points on a particular pair of eyeglasses. When traveling at high speeds, gravel or other small particles may strike the eyewear. This test is designed to simulate these circumstances.
There are many other examples, but ultimately, for ANSI standards to be met, a pair of glasses must be sufficiently resistant to impact and stress. A pair of prescription eyeglasses can be deemed to be safety eyeglasses if they pass ANSI standards as described by OSHA. A pair of prescription eyeglasses does not have to be considered “safety glasses” to undergo ANSI testing.
Because of this, it may occur that OSHA requires your employer to provide you with safety glasses during your employment. Nevertheless, you may be able to use your prescription glasses as long as they meet the appropriate ANSI standard. To reiterate, ANSI standards vary from one to another, so you need to ensure that your glasses comply with those standards.
It is possible to check on your prescription eyeglasses themselves if you already own a pair, but are not sure if they are ANSI approved. It is expected that you will see markings on your glasses as ANSI approved, such as “Z87” or “Z87+.” If you do not find these markings, you may wish to contact your original retailer. However, it is likely that your glasses are not ANSI approved.
Prescription safety glasses have a significant value
Prescription glasses that do qualify as safety glasses offer you the best of both worlds. In addition to helping you see well, they provide you with additional eye protection. Prescription safety glasses can provide you with a sense of security wherever you go, whether you are at work or playing. Throughout the day, they significantly reduce the possibility that your eyes will suffer minor or significant damage.