Safety glasses are a great and convenient product of our times – they’ve revolutionised personal protective equipment (PPE) regulations in many a workplace, made sporting events all the safer, and have even made personal hobbies safer to experience. However, with the market for safety glasses having grown so large throughout the years, a question may yet arise: How does one choose their safety glasses?
There are many factors that may determine the answer to this question, ranging from style preference, purpose, and how long you’ll be needing the safety glasses for. It’s a choice you’ll need to make for both the frames and lenses, but you’ll need to especially consider…
Some people need prescription safety glasses, as compromising vision for eye integrity can be redundant and equally dangerous, especially in an environment where PPE eyewear is a health and safety regulation. Therefore, whether or not you need prescriptions should most definitely factor into your decision-making process.
Most of the time, safety glasses can be bought in stores or ordered online, where there are plenty of markets for them. For prescription safety specs, however, you’re going to need to go through a slightly more detailed process, which typically involves visiting your optician for an eye test. Prescription safety glasses can typically be purchased online – for this to happen you’ll need to know your prescription, of course.
The question remains – what do you need these safety glasses for? There are plenty of jobs and hobbies that require the use of PPE safety specs, or even safety goggles, but how do you know and determine which types are the right ones for you? Given that each type of safety glasses may provide different types of protection, it’s important to know what you’ll be using them for.
Safety goggles are typically more appropriate for a laboratory environment, where they’ll protect you from potentially irritant chemical splashes, harmful radiation from intense light sources, and unexpected projectiles. However, it may depend on the type, as some goggles are designed to protect the eyes during carpentry or construction, from such things as projectiles and dust, which may also pose unexpected risk to the safety of your eyes.
Certain types of safety glasses can also come with various additions, such as UV or infrared protection, tinted lenses, or anti-scratch coating. The strength of the lenses will also widely vary, with the sizes ranging from types that can withstand small projectiles travelling up to 45 meters per second, to stronger types that can protect your eyes from small objects travelling up to 190 meters per second. This is a known European safety test and will be denoted by the letter EN166 on your temple arms.
It’s important that you evaluate these strength differences, which are usually marked from weakest to strongest going ‘F, B, A’ and ‘T’, which signifies that the safety glasses can withstand projectiles in spite of extreme temperatures. Knowing the differences may have an impact on your choice, as you’ll need to know what kind of strengths are best for you – given that stronger types tend to be of a higher expense.
Which brings us to perhaps the biggest factor that will affect your choice in safety glasses, which is the price of the safety specs. A lot of people would be tempted to choose the cheaper options when it comes to safety glasses. This is, of course, a mistake.
Granted, safety glasses can be pricey, with the best quality ones selling for as high as £600, and the lower for as cheap as £10 with no prescription.
Now it must be clarified that all safety glasses in production are tested before they’re produced on mass, so regardless of your chosen quality, it’s guaranteed that your eyes will have some form of protection. Where they tend to differ between companies, however, is in quality and longevity.
It’s recommended that for your own safety specs, or indeed, safety goggles, you spend somewhere between £25-£50 with a verified merchant who sells only safety glasses. Regardless of your preferred spending level, these are typically the minimum thresholds you ought to consider, as any lower would simply pose too much risk to your eyes. It’s better not to go cheap when it comes to your own personal health and safety.
If your workplace requires safety eyewear, chances are that you’ll be supplied the appropriate safety glasses, so you won’t have much of a choice in the decision-making process unless you request prescription safety glasses from your employer. The PPE equipment you’re supplied at your job will be appropriate the workplace environment, so there’s no real need to worry about making the right decision in such an instance.
Overall, there are plenty of options for you to choose from in terms of safety glasses, but depending on your circumstances, some options may seem more appropriate. Above all things, make sure that you know what you’re looking for, understand how much you’re willing to spend, and you’re sure to find the safety glasses that suit you best.