How Do Safety Glasses and Goggles Differ From Regular Eyeglasses?
Safety eyewear must conform to a higher standard of impact resistance than regular eyeglasses, which optical professionals sometimes call “dress eyewear.” This higher standard applies to both the lenses and the frames of safety glasses’ and goggles.
Safety glasses may have prescription lenses or non-prescription (also called “plano”) lenses. Regardless of their size or the durability of the frame and lenses, regular prescription eyeglasses do not qualify as Safety glasses unless they meet specific criteria.
In the United States, the federal government establishes safety guidelines for workplaces, to decrease the risk of on-the-job injuries. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) within the U.S. Department of Labor oversees safety practices in the workplace and in educational settings.
OSHA has adopted safety eyewear standards established by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI), a private, non-profit organization that creates quality and safety standards for a wide variety of products.
The ANSI standard applying to eye safety includes several types of eye protection devices, including eyeglasses (both prescription and non-prescription), goggles, face shields, welding helmets and full-face respirators.