Protective safety eyewear can be as simple and inexpensive as a pair of goggles or shields that fit over your own glasses. These can be purchased at your local hardware or home improvement store. However, if you work with power tools a lot, you may wish to invest in a pair of specially fitted safety eyewear made with polycarbonate or trivex lenses. These safety eyeglasses can be made by your optometrist and can incorporate your own eyeglass prescription to give you clearer, more comfortable vision.
To qualify as true safety glasses, the frame and lenses must pass a strict set of criteria set forth by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) known as ANSI standards or the Canadian CSA Z94.3 safety standard. The frames must be sturdier than standard “dress” eyeglass frames and the lenses must pass a “drop ball” test. In this test, a small metal ball is dropped onto the lens from a specified height. The lens must survive impact without any chipping or cracking.
If your work requires using power tools or machinery, or if you work in an area with any kind airborne particles or noxious chemicals, your employer needs to provide safety eyewear for you. They may even provide prescription safety glasses for you, so be sure to check with your employer. But no matter what type of protective eyewear you choose, the most important thing is that you wear it!