Winter Sale 

10% OFF Entire Store (T&C’s apply)

Use Code: WNTR23

Ends: 20/01/23, 11:59 pm GMT

Valentine’s Day

10% OFF Entire Store

Use Code: LUV23

Ends: 16/02/2023, 11:59 pm GMT

Home > Blog >

Can my employer make me wear safety glasses?

Can my employer make me wear safety glasses? Safety Protection Glasses Blog

Safety glasses in the workplace may be very important – it depends on your workplace. In the situations where personal protective equipment (PPE) is required to maintain a certain level of safety, a particular question may arise; can your employer force you to wear safety glasses?

Necessary PPE Environments

The answer to such a question typically depends on your environment of work. Most jobs won’t require you to wear any PPE equipment, let alone safety glasses or safety goggles. There are some, however, where it is absolutely required – and it is the employer’s duty to make sure that the appropriate health and safety measures are followed and that the correct equipment is provided.

In work environments where there is no need for safety glasses, or for general PPE equipment, an employer cannot typically make you wear the safety specs. Of course, this may be circumstantial, as certain situations may call for the use of safety equipment in cases of emergency or otherwise.

As for work environments where safety glasses are a requirement, the importance of their correct use and application will be covered in training. An employer can certainly make you wear them in such jobs, as failure to do so can in most cases be interpreted as gross misconduct, as well as a breach of health and safety regulations. 

Failing to comply when your employer demands that you wear the appropriate safety glasses in such a work environment could lead to disciplinary action being taken against you. In the worst-case scenario, you may even lose your job as a result. 

This is most common in cases of workplaces where the wearing of certain PPE equipment is made mandatory under a certain work clause of your employee contract. 

In more general cases – your employer is by no means able to make you wear safety glasses when outside of work, or for cosmetic purposes. All matters of this kind should revolve around health and safety, as well as employee contracts.

Appropriate PPE Training

You’ll be much more aware of what your employer can and cannot make you do in regard to wearing safety specs if you’ve received the appropriate health and safety training. Health and safety training is a necessity in workplace environments where PPE equipment is essential, as it’s what helps you to orient yourself to your safety glasses – when do you need to wear them, why do you need to wear them, and what are the potential risks and hazards of your workplace that necessitate them.

Such jobs as construction, carpentry, or even laboratory work can all present a host of risks, from flying projectiles and debris to hazardous splash from irritant chemicals, and even radiation from light sources.

Knowing the risks, knowing the training, and knowing the employee contract are all important if you want to understand the circumstances of your current employer and whether they can make you wear safety glasses. In most cases there are no legal repercussions unless your refusal to wear safety glasses endangers you or those around you in any way – therefore by refusing to wear safety glasses at the behest of your employer, disciplinary action or dismissal are likely to be the worst consequence.

Prescription Safety Glasses

Your employer, under the right circumstances, can make you wear safety glasses under threat of disciplinary action, but one thing they cannot do is force you to compromise your vision. Being unable to see in workplace environments where PPE is a necessity may be just as dangerous as failing to wear the equipment itself.

The question may then be posed – your prescription safety glasses, or just safety glasses? As it turns out, should such a need occur, employers are typically required to supply you with your own pair of prescription safety glasses, or prescription safety goggles

Employers are often responsible for this, as it is their job to make sure every employee is safe and following health and safety regulations while at work. As such, they may also be responsible for paying for your set of prescription safety specs. 

If not this, there is also the option of wearing something called ‘safety over-glasses’ or fit over glasses, which, as their name would imply, you are able to wear over your usual set of prescription glasses in order to still see safely, whilst having the benefits of safety glasses. These are a cheaper option, that may not live up to the PPE safety regulations of every workplace, so it’s important to understand this as well.

Different jobs have different rules regarding health and safety, but for those where it’s required, your employer can make you wear them as a standard safety precaution. If your ability to see is what’s in question, this is a matter that can very easily be worked around, as it will also be up to the employer to work out the issue with prescription safety specs. If you have a viable reason not to wear safety glasses in your work environment, it’s also very important that you make this matter known, as it may serve to help you in the long run.


+44 2890 994 190 |