6 Best Safety Glasses for Various Industries in 2024

safety glasses worn by construction workers

​Eye injuries in the workplace are not only dangerous for workers but also costly for employers. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics, 20,000 work-related eye injuries occur each year that could have been prevented with the proper use of eye and face protection. The financial burden from these injuries is estimated to reach $300 million per year due to medical expenses, compensation, and downtime. These data underscore the importance of wearing the right safety glasses. In this article, we aim to guide you toward the best safety glasses for your specific industry, based on rigorous research and testing.

 

Safety Glasses vs. Safety Goggles

Both safety glasses and goggles offer eye protection using impact-resistant polycarbonate lenses and meet standards like ANSI Z87.1. The main difference lies in the coverage: safety glasses protect the front and sides of the eyes, while safety goggles provide a complete seal around the entire eye area, making them suitable for environments with high risks of splashes or fine dust.

 

Selection Criteria for the Best Safety Glasses

Selecting the best safety glasses involves understanding the specific needs of various industries, alongside adherence to rigorous safety standards and evaluations by trusted authorities. Here's a detailed look at the process of how we select and evaluate the best safety glasses for various industries.

1. Protection Level Against Specific Hazards: The effectiveness of eye protection is measured by their ability to provide adequate protection against the hazards specific to an industry. We rely on certified lab results where safety glasses are tested for their ability to withstand high-speed particles at varying energy levels and protection from UV light, chemical splashes, and dust. This testing mimics real-world impacts that might occur in industries like construction or manufacturing.

2. Comfort and Fit for Extended Wear: Comfort is crucial as it directly impacts user compliance in wearing the glasses consistently. Features such as adjustable straps, padded frames, and lightweight materials are important considerations. Reviews and user feedback also play a significant role in determining how comfortable glasses are during extended use.

3. Compliance with Relevant Safety Standards: ANSI Z87.1 is a critical standard that ensures every eye protection equipment is capable of protecting against impacts, optical radiation, and other workplace hazards. This standard sets the baseline for the essential features that safety glasses must possess to be deemed effective. Glasses marked with Z87 or Z87+ indicate ANSI certification, verifying their compliance with these rigorous requirements. However, different industries face unique risks that necessitate specialized protection. Therefore, it is also crucial to consult industry-specific safety guidelines, which help outline the precise protection needs for various work environments.

4. Additional Features Like Ventilation or Anti-Fog Coating: Additional functionalities such as effective ventilation systems and anti-fog coatings are considered during the selection process. These features enhance the usability of eye PPE under various environmental conditions, making them suitable for a broader range of activities and climates.

 

6 Best Safety Glasses by Industry in 2024

 

DEWALT DPG94 Dominator Safety Glasses

The DEWALT DPG94 Dominator Safety Glasses are designed with both protection and comfort in mind. The high-impact polycarbonate lens material is durable enough to withstand rigorous activities and conditions, making it an excellent choice for industries like construction, woodworking, and manufacturing. The availability of various lens colors allows users to select glasses that best fit their environmental needs and personal style preferences. The rubber-tipped temples and integrated rubber nosepiece enhance comfort, ensuring the glasses remain securely in place throughout extended periods of wear. Compliance with ANSI Z87.1+ standards assures users of the safety glasses' reliability in providing high-level eye protection.

 

Best used in: Construction, Manufacturing

Comfortable to wear for long periods
Rubber-tipped temples for a comfortable, non-slip fit
Extensive coverage
Multiple lens color options

Limited chemical splash protection
May not fit over prescription glasses

Weight: ‎0.32 ounces Frame Material: Rubber Lens Material: Polycarbonate Lens Coating: UV Protection

 

3M Safety Glasses Flex

The 3M Safety Glasses, SecureFit, have proven to be a reliable and effective product for ensuring eye safety. With its ANSI Z87 certification, one can trust that these glasses provide adequate protection against impact and debris. The anti-fog and anti-scratch clear lenses enhance visibility and durability, making them suitable for long hours of use. Its lightweight design and adjustable nose pads offer a comfortable and secure fit, ensuring that the glasses stay in place even during intense movements or work. With a pack of 20, they are perfect for a team or workplace setting.

 

Best used in: Manufacturing, Healthcare

Comfortable for all-day wear
Dual-injected padded temple touchpoints
Complies with high safety standards
Anti-scratch and anti-fog lens coatings

May not provide enough dust protection for certain industrial environments

Weight: <1 ounce Frame Material: Plastic Lens Material: Polycarbonate Lens Coating: Anti-Scratch, Anti-Fog, UV Protection

 

OXG Anti-Scratch Safety Glasses

These ANSI Z87.1 certified safety glasses are designed to withstand the toughest conditions, making them perfect for a wide range of activities. Whether working in construction, manufacturing, or even for outdoor enthusiasts, these safety glasses offer the utmost protection.

With their anti-scratch polycarbonate lenses, these glasses are built to last, ensuring clear vision and durability for the long haul. OXG Anti-Scratch Safety Glasses feature UV protection coating to block harmful rays and blue light, and their wraparound lens design ensures a snug fit while covering a 200° angle of vision, making them extremely effective for comprehensive eye protection.

 

Best used in: Construction, Manufacturing

Comes with 12 pairs of glasses
High level of transparency for clear vision
Impact and scratch-resistant
Wide-angle coverage

Wraparound design may not fit all face shapes comfortably

Weight: 0.8 ounce Frame Material: PC Material Lens Material: Polycarbonate Lens Coating: Anti-Scracth, UV Protection

 

NoCry Safety Glasses Over Eyeglasses

The NoCry Safety Glasses Over Eyeglasses offer a high level of protection and comfort. The anti-scratch lenses ensure long-lasting durability, while the 100% UV protective coating shields the eyes from harmful rays. These safety glasses are also ANSI Z87 and OSHA certified, making them suitable for lab work and other hazardous environments. Designed to fit comfortably over regular eyeglasses, they provide a snug and secure fit. Overall, customers can trust the NoCry brand to deliver reliable and top-notch safety goggles.

 

Best used in: Healthcare, Construction, Woodworking

Comfortable fit with regular glasses
Offers front and side impact protection
Blocks 100% of harmful UV rays

May be heavier than typical safety glasses due to OTG design

Weight: ‎1.28 ounces Frame Material: Rubber Lens Material: Polycarbonate Lens Coating: Premium Anti-Scratch, UV Protection

 

KleenGuard™ V30 Nemesis™ Safety Glasses

KleenGuard™ V30 Nemesis™ Safety Glasses combine style with safety, featuring a modern, sleek, and lightweight design that ensures wearer satisfaction. These glasses are equipped with polycarbonate lenses that offer 99.9% UVA/UVB/UVC protection, adhering to the ANSI Z87.1+ standards. The patented FLEX-DRY technology is designed for flexibility, sweat management, and slippage prevention on the nose, enhancing long-term comfort. The unisex design ensures a comfortable fit for all users.

 

Best used in: Manufacturing, Construction

Stylish and lightweight design
High-level UV protection
Durable and flexible
Enhances comfort with FLEX-DRY technology

Style may not appeal to all users

Weight: Unisex Frame Material: Wrap Around Nylon Lens Material: Polycarbonate Lens Coating: Anti-Fog, UV Protection

 

Ergodyne Skullerz ODIN Safety Glasses Sunglasses

The Ergodyne Skullerz ODIN Safety Glasses Sunglasses are built to offer superior durability and protection. Featuring a full-frame design that bends and flexes without breaking, these glasses meet multiple high safety standards, including ANSI/ISEA Z87.1-2020, CSA Z94.3, and MIL-PRF 32432 Ballistic Impact. They offer 99.9% filtration of harmful UVA, UVB, and UVC rays, making them excellent for outdoor use. Additional features like rubber nose pieces and temples ensure a secure fit and resistance to sweat, while optional foam gasket inserts help reduce the entry of dust and debris.

 

Best used in: Construction, Outdoor Work Activities

Extremely durable and flexible frame
Optional dust/debris protection
Meets military ballistic impact standards

Not great for people with larger heads

Weight: N/A Frame Material: Nylon Lens Material: Polycarbonate Lens Coating: UV Protection

 

3M Nuvo Reader Protective Eyewear

The 3M Safety Glasses with Readers are a practical and reliable product for anyone in need of safety glasses with a reading function. With a +2.0 diopter, these glasses provide clear visibility for reading small texts or carrying out detailed tasks. The ANSI Z87 certification ensures that these glasses meet the highest safety standards, making them suitable for use in various work environments, like chipping, chiseling, drilling, grinding, machining, masonry, pouring/casting, power fastening, riveting, sanding and sawing. The clear lens and gray frame combination offer a sleek and professional look. The soft nose bridge adds extra comfort, even during extended wear, and the side shields provide additional protection from flying debris.

 

Best used in: Manufacturing, Construction

Built-in magnifying diopters for reading enhancement
Comprehensive eye protection with side shields and brow bar
Comfortable fit

Glasses are just 2.0X, so won’t work for more severe vision problems
Magnifying area might be distracting for some tasks not requiring close vision

Weight: 1.13 ounces Frame Material: Thermoplastic Polyurethane (TPU) Lens Material: Polycarbonate Lens Coating: UV Protection

Prescription Safety Glasses

Regular prescription glasses are not designed to withstand impacts or offer the same level of protection against hazards like dust or chemicals. Prescription safety glasses, on the other hand, provide the necessary corrective vision while adhering to safety standards like ANSI Z87.1 for impact resistance. These specialized glasses are available in various configurations to suit your needs. You can choose from options that fit over your existing eyeglasses, providing an additional layer of protection. Or, you can opt for safety glasses with corrective lenses built directly into them, offering a more streamlined look.

Acquiring prescription safety glasses typically involves getting a prescription from an ophthalmologist or optometrist. They can advise on the specific lens materials and coatings suitable for your work environment. With your prescription in hand, you can then work with an eyewear provider specializing in eye PPE to find the perfect pair that meets both your vision and safety needs.

 

Importance of Emergency Eyewash Stations

Even with proper eye protection, accidents can happen. In case of chemical splashes or other contaminants entering the eye, immediate flushing is critical to minimize potential damage. This is where emergency eyewash stations come in.

Eyewash stations provide a readily available source of clean water for flushing the eyes in an emergency. They should be strategically placed in areas with a high risk of eye injuries, such as laboratories, chemical plants, and anywhere chemicals or other hazardous materials are handled.

There are two key points to remember regarding eyewash stations:

  • Standard Compliance: Ensure the eyewash stations in your workplace comply with the ANSI Z358.1 standard. This standard specifies the design, performance, and placement of eyewash stations, ensuring they provide effective flushing in case of an emergency.
  • Accessibility and Maintenance: For eyewash stations to be truly effective, they must be easily accessible within 10 seconds of the potential hazard. Regular inspections are crucial to verify proper functionality. This might involve weekly visual checks and annual testing to ensure the water flow meets the ANSI Z358.1 standard. Following the manufacturer's recommended maintenance schedule is also essential.

 

FAQs on Safety Glasses

Where should safety glasses be worn?

Safety glasses should be worn in any environment where there is a risk of eye injuries from physical, chemical, or radiation hazards. This includes workplaces like construction sites, manufacturing plants, laboratories, and any area where you might encounter flying debris, hazardous chemicals, or harmful light rays.

What to look for when buying safety glasses?

When buying safety glasses, look for:

  • Certification: Ensure they meet safety standards like ANSI Z87.1 for impact resistance.
  • Material: Polycarbonate lenses are highly impact-resistant and offer UV protection.
  • Fit: Choose glasses that fit well and stay secure on your face. They should not slip during movement.
  • Comfort: Look for features like padded nose bridges and temples.
  • Lens Features: Depending on your environment, consider anti-fog, scratch-resistant, or tinted lenses for better visibility and durability.

Are safety glasses supposed to be tight-fitting?

Safety glasses should fit securely enough to stay in place while you move but shouldn't be so tight that they cause discomfort. A proper fit means they rest comfortably on the nose and ears without pinching the skin.

Do sunglasses count as safety glasses?

Regular sunglasses do not count as safety rated sunglasses unless they meet specific safety standards like ANSI Z87.1, which involves impact resistance and UV protection. Always check the certification before using sunglasses as safety glasses.

Can you wear regular glasses under safety glasses?

Yes, you can wear regular glasses under safety glasses if the safety glasses are designed as over-the-glass (OTG) models. OTG safety glasses have more room to comfortably fit over prescription frames without compromising the seal or protection.

Can you wear safety glasses all day?

Yes, you can wear safety glasses all day if they are comfortable and provide adequate ventilation to prevent fogging. Ensure they have features like soft nose pads and flexible temples to minimize discomfort during extended wear.