This post may contain affiliate links. As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.
Safety is the number one priority on our job sites and it is important that we set that precedent so we know that everyone in our company is going to follow safety protocol. There is a reason why we set safety standards in our business and it is important that those standards are followed by everyone. No one is immune to getting hurt and the most unpredictable things can happen on a job site. That is why it is important that personal protective equipment is on hand and at the ready for all of our employees.
Whether you are an employer or employee, you want to make sure that you have a quality pair of safety glasses on the job site. If you are an employer, you probably want to get more quantity for your dollar because those safety glasses are going to get lost, tossed, and forgotten on a regular basis. If you are an employee and want to invest in a better pair of safety glasses, then you are going to want to know you are getting a good bang for your buck.
Either way, we have you covered in this guide to purchase safety glasses. Whether you are looking for the best polarized safety glasses or the best safety glasses in bulk, we provide you with a list of options to suit your needs. We also cover everything you need to know in terms of safety glasses on a job site, though it is important that you do your own research in terms of your governing body for health and safety on a job site.
Eye Safety in the Workplace
No matter how much of a nuisance a pair of safety glasses are, it is important to wear them. It would be much more of a nuisance to be without an eye, or even worse. That is why it is vital to find a pair of safety glasses that work for you, that are comfortable, that provide proper protection, and will make you want to wear them while on the job site. There are some incredible products on the market that will cover all of these while performing extremely well in your conditions.
Safety glasses will protect you against harsh and irritating materials entering your eyes or high speed objects from cutting or other activity from hitting your eye, which is a good trade off. If harsh or irritating materials enter your eye, it is best if you rinse your eyes out with saline. This is a solution that approximates your tears and is often used by contact lens wearers. It will potentially rinse out any irritating materials from your eyeball if you pull down on your lower eye lid and fill the pocket with the solution. Then, simply blink it out and do this several times if necessary.
If the discomfort persists or there is ever something serious that happens on the job site, seek medical attention immediately. If you are an employer, you should already have a medical policy in place that dictates what happens in case of an emergency. If you are an employee, be sure to familiarize yourself with this policy not just for yourself, but also for those around you.
Lastly, find yourself a pair of safety glasses that you enjoy wearing. Your safety should be the number one priority and it should be taken seriously. The more you are attached to your safety glasses, the more likely you are to wear them regularly on a job site.
How to Take Care of Safety Glasses
After finding the right pair of safety glasses, it is important that you protect them as they would you. Yes, they do require some love and care if you want them to last. That does not mean throwing them in the back of the truck with all the other stuff you are carrying around or tossing them into your hard hat.
Follow the manufacturer’s instructions in terms of taking proper care of the safety glasses. This could include daily cleanings to remove any dust and debris from them. Properly cleaning these each day ensures that the glasses will not get scratched or scuffed up over time. Be sure to avoid handling the safety glasses roughly. These scratches and scuffs can impair your vision while wearing them and can also weaken the lenses, providing less protection if they ever are impacted by something in action.
Story your safety glasses in a clean, dry place and in a case when they are not being worn. Somewhere where they cannot fall or be stepped on is obviously ideal. It is important that you replace any scratched, broke, or bent safety glasses as they will inhibit your vision and will not provide adequate protection. You can always replace identical parts if possible from the original manufacturer as long as the have the same safety rating. And of course, do not modify the safety glasses in any way.
Choosing the Best Construction Safety Glasses
Though everyone has a different shape and size of head playing an important role in choosing the right pair of safety glasses that will be comfortable for you, there are some standards that we can consider when choosing the right pair of safety glasses.
In terms of job site safety, it is important to know a few things whether you are an employee or an employer. First, this information could change at any given time. It is important that you do your own research and verify whether or not these safety standards or rules have changed.
OSHA or the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the United States Department of Labor, as well as the different Ministry of Labour departments in Canada, have their own rules that employers are required to follow on any job site. They provide general and minimum requirements that employers can implement in their business to provide adequate safety measures in their business.
Generally speaking, employers should ensure that every employee uses appropriate eye or face protection whenever they are in a situation that exposes them to hazards from flying particles, among several other serious hazards like molten metal, acids, liquid chemicals, and much more. The employer should ensure that the eye protection also includes side protection when the hazard involves flying objects (these can be detachable side protectors as long as they meet requirements). For employees that require prescription lenses, the employer should ensure that the employee has safety classes with the prescription built in to the design of the safety lenses or have eye protection that can be worn over their prescription lenses without disturbing proper positioning of those lenses. Safety glasses should be marked with identification of the manufacturer. There is a chart of filter lenses for those that require protection against light radiation available here.
Construction Safety Glasses Standards
Construction safety glasses have their own standards that have been tested to meet the minimum requirements. In the United States, the governing body is the American National Standards Institute or ANSI that sets the standards. In Canada, it is the Canadian Standards Association or CSA that sets these standards. In both cases, they have similar standards with minor differences in testing and wording.
The standard set by CSA in Canada is Z94.3-2002. The performance of safety glasses is tested through the impact of a 1/4″ steel ball traveling at 46.5 meters per second or 152 feet per second. The tested areas of the safety glasses are in the midpoint, frontal locations, and lateral locations.
Markings to ensure that they are CSA certified include the CSA logo which is an “S” and “A” enclosed by a “C”. In addition to this marking, industrial protection safety glasses are identified with the manufacturer’s logo on the frames, on the top of lenses, or in the corner of the prescription lenses.
The standard set by ANSI is Z87.1-2015, having replaced the Z87.1-2003 and Z87.1-2010 standard. Testing includes basic and high impact testing of the lenses and frames, exposure to non-ionizing radiation and chemicals, and durability to flammable and corrosion.
Safety glass markings should be easy to understand on the lens and frames. These markings help to ensure compliance. There are a few different markings depending on the different type of protection that the safety glasses provide. Impact is marked with a Z87+ for high-velocity protection and Z87 for basic impact protection. Splash and droplet is marked with a D3 and D4 for dust, whereas fine dust is marked with a D5. Welding is marked with a W and the shade number. UV is marked with U plus the scale number. Infrared light is marked with an R and the scale number. Visible light filter is marked with an L and the scale number. Prescription is marked with Z87-2 on both the front of the frame and the temples. Head size is marked with H, photochormic is marked with an V, and special lens tints are marked with an S. Rx spectacles are marked with a + on the lenses to show that they are impact rated, Z87-2+ on the frame, Z87+ on the detachable side shields if they are attached, and prescription frames have size markings on both the frame and temples.
Deciding what safety glasses you need depends entirely on what you need protection from. CSA provides an excellent breakdown of 6 different classes of safety glasses and head gear that can be used for different hazards. Class 1 are strictly safety glasses and provide protection to flying objects, particles, dust, wind, glare, and light. Class 2 are safety goggles providing protection to similar hazards, but also some heat, sparks, acid splash, chemical burns, optical radiation, and electric arc flash. Class 3 are full helmets, Class 4 are hand shields, Class 5 are hoods, and Class 6 are face shields all providing more protection for more serious hazards. It is important to consider the proper type of equipment for the particular task. Just because you purchased safety goggles from Class 2 does not mean that it protections from everything listed. It is important to consult the manufacturer’s instructions as to whether or not it provides the proper protection from the hazards you will encounter on the job site.
When looking for a pair of safety glasses, you want to know what they are made of. Though there are a variety of materials that safety glasses can be made of, the best material for protection is polycarbonate. This is a clear and lightweight material that is used in other products like shatterproof windshields, medical devices, lighting fixtures, and DVDs. It is extremely useful for its ease of production and ability to transmit light as glass would and to withstand impacts greater than many other plastics.
If you want to learn more about choosing the right equipment for your job site depending on the hazards present, you can learn more about the different classes here.
As an employer, it is your responsibility to ensure that your employees are using proper safety glasses on the job site when required. You may want to create an eye safety protection program that provides selection, fit testing, training, maintenance, and inspection.
Getting the right fit is important to providing the necessary safety. Safety glasses should cover the eyebrow to the cheekbone, the nose to the bone on the outside of the face and eyes. Gaps between the glasses and the skin should be kept to a minimum so choosing the right pair of safety glasses will be a different process for everyone as everybody has different eye sizes, bridge sizes, and temples. Safety glasses should fit comfortably over the ears and temples, supported by the nose. They should not obstruct the view of the user.
It is also important to consider that just because a lens is colored does not mean that it provides ultraviolet protection. Because in this post we are going to focus on safety glasses in Class 1, we will be discussing different options for ultraviolet protection. Lenses can be clear, photochromic, polarized, or tinted, but they do not necessarily provide ultraviolet protection unless it is specified by the manufacturer and markings are clear on the safety glasses themselves.
Top Rated Safety Glasses: Construction
From the above information that has been presented, you should have an idea of what type of safety glasses you want to purchase for your job site. There are several safety glasses brands that provide excellent products that are stylish and comfortable, as well as protective. Then there are those safety glasses that you can purchase in bulk if you are an employer wanting to make sure that everyone on the job site has access to sufficient safety glasses on a job site. If you are an employee and those safety glasses that your employer provides you do not fit right or just do not feel good, then this will help you make a decision on a good pair of safety glasses to purchase.
Best Polarized Safety Glasses / Best Anti Glare Safety Glasses
Polarized lenses are designed to reduce the glare from surfaces, allowing the user to be able to distinguish true colors of objects that may be more difficult without the polarized glasses. They provide excellent vision clarity and contrast, reduce the strain on your eyes, and are a great added feature for any sunglasses wearer, especially those working outdoors.
Polarized lenses are not without their disadvantages though. Polarized lenses do not necessarily add protection from ultraviolet light. For that, you will want to verify with the manufacturer what UV protection the glasses offer. Polarized does not equal ultraviolet protection. They also make it more difficult to view LCD screens at certain angles. Polarized lenses are more expensive and some polarized lenses that are applied with a film will not last a long period of time.
ToolFreak Rebel polarized safety sunglasses for work provide a combination of comfort, protection, and durability while also looking really good. They are made of polycarbonate to provide excellent protection against impacts. They are an excellent choice for anti glare safety glasses with their polarized lenses. They do provide ultraviolet protection as well which is important with any set of polarized safety sunglasses. Their sprung tension frames grip your head to prevent them from falling off while you work and provide you with lateral protection as they wrap around your head while also providing an unrestricted view. These glasses are rated ANSI Z87+ for high velocity impact protection.
Best Sunglasses for Construction
If a pair of polarized sunglasses are not for you for any one of those reasons that we mentioned above and you just want a pair of the best construction sunglasses that provide you protection from impact and ultraviolet rays, then we have a different option. Finding the best sunglasses for construction depends on your requirements, but more than likely you want that impact resistant rating as well as a good UV protection rating.
Along with many of the other benefits that the polarized pair of safety glasses that ToolFreak provides, the Reevo safety sunglasses for work also provide excellent protection through the design and materials that make it. Polycarbonate protects against high impact, being rated also with an ANSI Z87+. The sunglasses wrap around the head comfortably so they do not fall off while working and provide additional lateral protection without obstructing your range of view. Additional protection is provided with its ultraviolet protection. These quite possibly could be the best safety sunglasses option if you are not wanting the polarized protection.
Best Transition Safety Glasses
If you are transitioning from inside to outside multiple times a day and require safety glasses for both, it may be worth investing in a pair of photochromatic safety glasses that adjust their tint to the light. These will allow you to keep your safety glasses on all day without having to change from a clear pair of safety glasses to a tinted pair multiple times throughout the day. This also provides a great option to those who wont want to carry around both clear and tinted glasses all day especially if they are prone to lose pairs of safety glasses.
There is a downside to these, as they are quite expensive. Though they do replace the need for two pairs of safety glasses, they come with a price tag of two moderately expensive safety glasses. This means that these need to be taken care of and not lost on a job site, otherwise that price is going to really add up.
3M’s smart lens safety glasses provide a comfortable fit and protection that is required in any pair of safety glasses. Whether you have a narrow or wide face, these spring adjusted glasses will grip to your face to ensure that they will not fall off while you work. The frame is made of magnesium alloy to provide extra durability at the temples and a soft, adjustable nose bridge provides added comfort along with the nylon brow. The lenses are made of polycarbonate for that ANSI Z87.1-2010 rated protection. They also protect against ultraviolet rays. These are an excellent choice if you are looking for a pair of photochromatic safety glasses.
Best Safety Glasses for Dust
When it comes to protecting your eyes from dust that is flying around in the air, we prefer to transition to a safety goggle rather than a safety glass. Unfortunately, safety goggles are generally bulky and uncomfortable. That is why Pyramex offers an amazing alternative to the safety goggle. These are the best dust proof safety glasses on the market. They provide all of the protection that you need from impact, ultraviolet rays, and dust.
They are lightweight and slim, look just like safety glasses with the exception that they have an elastic band attaching the legs at the back that can be adjusted to provide a tight fit around the eyes with the foam around the lenses. The vented foam provides excellent dust protection while also allowing air to flow to prevent fogging and to keep you cool. These safety glasses features two layers of lenses. The outer layer is made of polycarbonate to protect against impact, while the inner layer is acetate to prevent fogging. The lenses also protect against 99% of ultraviolet rays. They are available in a wide variety of tints and shades as well. You cannot go wrong with these dust safety glasses on any job site, rated ANSI Z87.1 for high impact protection.
Best No Fog Safety Glasses
There are other really good options for fog proof safety glasses on this list and the features are listed under each pair. However, there are two more really good options that we want to highlight in this list. Obviously everyone wants a pair of safety glasses to not fog up on them when they are working. This can be a major safety problem when on the job site.
3M Virtua CCS safety glasses feature anti-fog lens coating and removable foam-lined gaskets with airflow vents to keep those glasses from fogging in humid conditions. With this foam gasket, it also provides pretty good protection against dust. The glasses are contoured to wrap around the face to prevent them from falling off while you work. The polycarbonate lenses meet CSA Z94.3-07 and ANSI Z87.1-2010 standards for high impact protection. In addition to that, they provide 99.9% protection against ultraviolet rays.
If you prefer a clear option for the best anti fog safety glasses and want to try a different brand, then Ergodyne offers a quality choice. Though they do not feature the same foam gasket that the pair of 3M safety glasses do (so not the best for dusty environments), they do have the same impact resistant standards. The lenses are also treated with permanent anti-fog that does not wash or wear off. They wrap around the head similar to the other pairs of safety glasses on this list to provide an excellent and comfortable fit, with a comfortable nose grip.
Best Over Glasses Safety Glasses
If you wear prescription glasses and are required to wear safety glasses on a job site, that can present a problem. Unless specified, prescription glasses do not provide the protection that safety glasses do. Which means you will need to purchase a pair of over the glasses safety glasses that will do just what they say. The alternative would be purchasing a pair of prescription safety glasses which can cost a lot of money.
NoCry have a pair of these safety glasses that protect your eyes, as well as your prescription glasses really well from the front to the sides. These safety glasses sit further away from your face providing distance from your prescription glasses to prevent harming them, yet still provide a secure fit to protect your eyes. They are made of polycarbonate and meet ANSI Z87+ and CSA Z94.3 standards for high impact protection. Not only that, but they also provide ultraviolet protection and are scratch resistant. Whether you want clear or tinted, they have you covered.
Bulk Safety Glasses
If you are looking to purchase a larger amount of safety glasses so that all of your employees have access to a pair or if you know that you are prone to losing them, then there are definitely less expensive options that you can order. Whether you want clear safety glasses or tinted, AmazonBasics has anti-scratch, UV resistant lenses that will keep you safe and comfortable with these safety glasses. They are basic which also means that they are lightweight. They provide good lateral protection with the wrap around lenses without obstructing your view. They are ANSI Z87+ certified for high impact protection. Still, do not expect a lot from less expensive options.
Construction Glasses on a Job Site
It is our policy that we have safety glasses available to everyone on our crew at any time. They should also be worn when necessary, which covers a wide variety of tasks that are completed on every day. That being said, we do not invest in the highest quality safety glasses for every employee. They will get lost. They will get broken. They will get forgotten. It just does not make sense to spend the additional cost on something that is not going to get treated with respect. However, we do get the a good quality pair of safety glasses for our employees to make sure that they are going to be safe.
That being said, for ourselves and perhaps our foremen or supervisors we will invest in a little bit more costly pair to show them our appreciation. In addition, we may encourage other employees to purchase whatever additional personal protective equipment that they may wish to. That equipment should comply with certain standards and should be able to protect them appropriately, but we may cover some of those costs in our business if we feel it is appropriate.
Ultimately it is up to you, but for a piece of personal protective equipment that is so important to keeping your eyes intact and get worn throughout the day, investing in a quality pair can be crucial. Especially if you are working outdoors for the majority of the day, having a pair of safety sunglasses may be the right purchase for you. If you need to wear glasses, then a pair of safety goggles that can go over those glasses are important to have. Whatever it may be, we hope that it has been covered here for you to make the right decision for your situation.