Safety Eyewear Options for RX Eyeglass Wearers

Individuals who wear prescription eyeglasses have two focuses when choosing safety eyewear. Find appropriate safety eyewear for the task at hand, and make sure their safety eyewear allows their prescription to fully do its job. To accomplish these goals, there are basically four options.

1.) Rx Safety Glasses.

The ideal situation is to have a pair of prescription eyeglasses to wear outside of work and a pair of Rx safety glasses to wear while at work. Rx safety glasses have more available features compared to the other options. In fact, considering “What Lens Options to Get for Prescription Safety Glasses“ can feel a bit overwhelming at first.

Unfortunately, this option is also likely the most expensive, especially if insurance covers little to none of the cost. Also, lens can eventually get scratched and need replaced.

2.) Safety Glasses with Rx Inserts.

Prescription Inserts are filled with your prescription and then installed behind the main lens of the safety eyewear. This option has several benefits.

  • They can save money over and buying Rx safety glasses.
  • Safety eyewear with Rx inserts generally provide more protection than traditional safety glasses with side shields.
  • The main safety lens protects the inserts. Replacing this lens if it gets scratched or broken is easy, usually less expensive than prescription lenses too.
  • This option is also a handy backup for contact wearers in case they cannot wear their contacts for some reason.

The drawback? All Rx inserts are limited on the strength of prescription they can accommodate, so they won’t work for everyone. The accommodation of prescription strength varies greatly from one model to the next, so be sure to thoroughly check out all the models available.

3.) Over-Rx Safety Glasses.

This option involves wearing safety glasses over regular glasses. Over-prescription safety glasses come in quite a variety of options. Most people can find an option just as suitable as regular safety glasses.

Some individuals struggle finding a good fit though. This is likely due to lack of trying enough styles, but this option also simply isn’t right for some individuals. A comfortable fit is essential for compliance, so individuals who find over-prescription safety glasses bothersome should consider another option.

4.) Side Shields.

Side shields come in a variety of models, sizes and colors to fit most eyewear frames. Some are clip-on, while others allow eyeglass temples to slide through side openings and auto-adjust for a secure grip. Removal is quick and easy too. Other side shields have a band that secures the shield to the frame. Most side shields also block the sun’s harmful rays and come in a variety of tints. They usually can be purchased individually or by the pack.

Keep in mind that side shields are usually more of a temporary solution. They are not typically rated for impact protection.

Not One Size Fits All

Making sure each worker who wears Rx glasses has appropriate safety eyewear protection won’t be a one-size-fits-all approach. Instead, safety managers should plan on talking with each individual.

  • Find out what they want and don’t want. Doing so will likely eliminate one or more of  the options discussed above.
  • An indication of a problem with safety eyewear is noncompliance. Ask what bothers them about their current Rx eyewear if compliance is lacking.

Armed with this information, a safety manager can then discuss the many other options available and find one that works best for each individual.

By |2018-04-10T16:37:32+00:00April 13th, 2018|All Posts, Safety Tips|2 Comments

About the Author:

Michael Eldridge is a US Marine Veteran and the founder of He's passionate about protective eyewear and promoting vision safety. In his spare time, he enjoys target shooting, fishing, CrossFit, mountain biking, camping with his family and watching Detroit Tigers baseball.


  1. Laura Keeney August 5, 2015 at 2:44 pm - Reply

    Hi my name is Laura. I have a very difficult time find regular safety glasses to fit property. I wear contacts most of the time and just need regular safety glasses but sometimes I would like to wear my glasses to give my eyes a rest from the contact lens. Can you help me find small prescription safety glasses? Thanks Laura

    • Michael Eldridge August 10, 2015 at 9:37 am - Reply

      Hi Laura, thanks for contacting us.
      If you’re looking for safety glasses that fit over your existing prescription glasses I recommend visiting our Over-Prescription Safety Glasses section The Pyramex OTS is very popular since its less bulky and more attractive than other models.

Leave A Comment

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.