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Prescription safety glasses

construction worker wearing prescription safety glasses

According to a report by the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH), an estimated 2,000 American workers sustain eye injuries that are job-related every day. These injuries result primarily from: 

  • Objects scraping or striking the eyes

  • Penetration by sharp objects

  • Burns from chemicals and heat

Therefore, you must protect your eyes by wearing protective safety glasses prescribed for specific needs.

For people with imperfect vision, standard prescription glasses may not offer the protection required for safety in their jobs. A pair of plain safety glasses will protect the eyes but will not correct vision problems.

What, then, differentiates standard prescription glasses from safety glasses? What are prescription safety glasses?

Prescription glasses vs. safety glasses: What's the difference?

Taking care of your eyesight is crucial, but not every pair of glasses serves the needs of your eyes. There is a clear difference between a pair of glasses made for safety in the workplace and one that just corrects a specific refractive error. 

From their material makeup to the hardness of their lenses, safety and standard prescription eyewear are different. They require poles-apart safety standards in the making of their lenses. Federal law safety requirements regulate these standards. So, when you want to purchase safety eyewear, look for Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA)-approved American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z87.1-rated safety glasses.

The design of safety glasses’ lenses requires that the materials are strong, clear and resistant to impact from flying objects. The unique design of safety glasses covers a large area of the eyes, thereby helping to protect you from biohazards, splashes of hazardous chemicals, and high-impact flying objects. Regular prescription glasses, however, do not offer this level of protection. Instead, they are much more comfortable and intended primarily to correct vision problems.

The lenses of safety glasses come from polycarbonate materials that are strong, stiff and hard. These transparent thermoplastics are capable of maintaining rigidity up to 284° F (140° C).  

However, developments in technology have paved the way for thinner high-impact resistant glasses that meet both safety and prescription glasses' demands. These glasses are prescription safety glasses.  There are a variety of types of prescription safety glasses available.

Types of prescription safety glasses

From the manufacturing and construction industries to healthcare services, demand is increasing for employees’ need to ensure the safety of their eyes and vision while on the job. Eyeglass manufacturers are creating glasses of different sizes and designs for men and women and that fit all face types to meet these demands.

Prescription safety eyewear comes in various lens types:

  • Single vision – One focal distance

  • Bifocals – Add a distinct reading correction segment

  • Trifocals – Add a section for intermediate vision

  • Progressives – Change smoothly from near to distance correction

They’re also available in a variety of frame styles and materials:

  • Plastic 

  • Metal 

  • Full-rim 

  • Rimless 

  • Wraparound 

Some designs even have built-in lights or removable foam gaskets.

Who makes prescription safety glasses?

Here are a few examples of leading companies manufacturing prescription safety glasses:

Bollé prescription safety glasses

Bollé manufactures a wide range of glasses that can be ordered with prescription lenses. These safety glasses have unique markings that designate them for specific workplace hazards, helping you choose what's best for your kind of job. For example, clear or yellow lens glasses that have markings beginning with two or three effectively protect the eyes from UV radiation.

Bollé Skate 

Bollé Skate safety glasses were designed with style and comfort in mind. The wraparound design has integrated side shields and is available in two sizes. It features upper and lower protection and is available in three colors. 

The Skate is perfect for heart, oval, round and square face shapes. It meets the ANSI Z87-2 and ANSI Z87.1-2010+ safety requirements for glasses.

Bollé Twister

Looking for Bollé prescription safety glasses that have some style? Then Bollé Twister is what you need. A pair of Bollé Twister safety glasses give you comfort while allowing you to focus on your job. The plastic-frame glasses come with upper and lower protection, interchangeable foam and an adjustable strap. Bollé Twister glasses can be ordered with a prescription insert to correct vision.  

Bollé Twisters looks great on almost any face shape — heart, oval, round and square. This product satisfies the ANSI Z87+ safety ratings.  

Bollé Tracker

These unique safety glasses provide over-the-top comfort for their users. The Bollé Trackers offer protection from both mechanical risks and chemical hazards and can be ordered with a prescription insert to correct vision. Their vented, removable foam gasket frame allows indirect air circulation, keeping the eyes comfortable. 

This pair of safety glasses has a rectangular, wraparound frame style and fit many face shapes.

The Tracker is compliant with ANSI Z87+ and CSA Z94 rating requirements.

Zenni prescription safety glasses

Recently, Zenni began manufacturing ANSI Z87.1 prescription safety glasses with high-impact resistance properties, scratch protection, total UV protection and an advanced anti-reflective coating. Zenni’s safety glasses protect against workplace hazards including dust, flying objects and dirt without impeding your comfort and style. 

The safety glasses are available with single vision or progressive prescription lenses. The designs are fashion-forward, giving options for durability and fashion while on the job.

ANSI Z87.1 Safety Glasses 749411

These ANSI Z87.1-compliant safety glasses are iconic metal aviator glasses with side shields. They're suitable for use in industrial, construction and engineering environments. 

Options for these safety glasses include 100% UV protection and impact-resistant lenses made from polycarbonate and Trivex. The lenses can also come with a protective coating that inhibits scratches and a water-resistant superhydrophobic anti-reflective coating.

ANSI Z87.1 Safety Glasses 749812

The Zenni 749812 safety glasses are available with progressive prescription lenses. These ANSI Z87.1-compliant safety glasses are lightweight, with frames weighing in at just 29 grams, and have removable side shields for use on and off the work site.

Like other Zenni safety glasses,  lens options for this model include high-impact lenses made from polycarbonate and Trivex. Also available are 100% UV protection, anti-scratch coating and superhydrophobic anti-reflective coating that is resistant to water.

3M Safety prescription glasses

3M boasts a reputation for delivering high-quality protective equipment for eye and face protection, including prescription safety glasses. Made from cutting-edge technology, 3M prescription safety glasses are ideal for workplaces.

Their glasses are ANSI Z87.1-2010 certified, making them an excellent choice for industrial environments.

3M Safety glasses offer the following models:

3M F9800 Safety Glasses 

3M F9800 safety glasses are ANSI Z87.1-2010 certified and feature high-impact resistance suitable for protecting employees against workplace hazards. More than protection, the 3M F9800 prescription safety glasses allow wearers to exude confidence and style. The frames come with brow-guard side shields that are tested against ANSI and CSA standards. The impact-resistant shields are also resistant to lens-cleaning chemicals. These lightweight 3M frames offer a combination of class, comfort and protection at the workplace.

3M ZT25 safety glasses

3M ZT25 safety glasses are another example of innovative, protective eyewear made using the cutting edge technology available. These safety glasses feature quality and design that are characteristic of 3M's leadership in protective eyewear. The 3M ZT25 safety glasses are an ideal choice for employees exposed to workplace hazards. Appropriate for all adults, the plastic frame has a wraparound shape, increasing its firmness around the head. It has integrated side shields that meet the ANSI Z87.1 requirements for safety glasses.

3M Classic 3 prescription safety glasses

This pair of safety prescription glasses provides maximum eye protection. The Classic 3 safety eyewear frame is one of the most popular prescription safety glasses designs in 3M eyewear stock. This unique pair of glasses is available in a variety of colors and serves multiple purposes.

Where you can buy prescription safety glasses online

The advent of e-commerce stores has increased people’s purchasing power and given them virtually unlimited options. Prescription eyewear users can purchase their glasses from a nearby optics store or the eye doctor, but brick-and-mortar stores have more limited choices. Purchasing your pair of glasses from an online store gives you a nearly unlimited selection of quality glasses to choose from. The process is almost always seamless and fast. 

But what would these online retailers need from you?

Send a copy of your prescription by email, mail or fax to your choice of online suppliers of safety glasses — or, in many cases, you can just fill out an online form. Upon receiving your prescription, the retailer designs your safety glasses according to your prescription details. Then they are shipped to your mailing address.

So, if you're thinking about where you'd get your next pair of glasses, here are some online options:

Rx Safety

Rx Safety is a family-owned and -run optical lab that provides online store services. They have a variety of safety glasses and prescription lenses and sell products for men and women from many top safety eyewear brands, including:

  • Bollé

  • ArmouRx

  • OnGuard

  • Spy

  • Wiley X

  • Oakley

  • Phillips Safety

  • Smith Optics 


Eyeweb’s philosophy is anchored in “delivering think-fit and see-fit optical eyewear” to their glasses enthusiast community. 

You can order your favorite brand’s prescription safety glasses from Eyeweb in the comfort of your home. Here are some of the brands you can find on Eyeweb.

  • Wiley X

  • Guardian Safety Rx

  • ArmouRx

  • Titmus

  • OnGuard 

  • ArtCraft Optical

  • Hudson Optical

  • Uvex

  • 3M


FramesDirect.com is owned by Essilor, the world's largest lens manufacturer. Making high-quality lenses, therefore, comes naturally to FramesDirect.com. FramesDirect.com glasses come with unique features such as progressive lenses, photochromic lenses, and ultra-thin lenses for high-prescription vision correction.

Top safety eyewear brands available at FramesDirect online stores are:

  • Wiley X

  • Titmus

  • Caterpillar Safety


SafetyEyeglass.com is known for exclusively selling prescription safety glasses. They have a large collection of Titmus prescription safety glasses and also handle other top brands of ANSI Z87.1 prescription glasses.

SafetyEyeglass.com handles OSHA-approved, ANSI-rated prescription safety glasses by these top manufacturers:

  • Titmus 

  • Wiley X 

  • OnGuard 

A step in a “safety” direction

Wearing protective eyewear in compliance with OSHA regulations for safe workplace environments is a step in the direction of safety. Current technology in the field of protective eyewear provides the best of both worlds: prescription lenses in high-quality safety glasses. And you can make your choice in the comfort of your own home by visiting an online optical store.

Do you need a new prescription for safety glasses?

Before ordering new glasses, you may need a current vision prescription. Visit your eye doctor for a comprehensive eye exam. They will make sure your on-the-job vision is the best it can be.

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