Safety Eyewear Options for RX Eyeglass Wearers

Individuals who wear prescription eyeglasses have two focuses when choosing safety eyewear. First, find appropriate safety eyewear for the task at hand, and make sure their safety eyewear allows their prescription to thoroughly 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 all the available lens options selecting the proper Rx eyewear can initially feel a bit overwhelming.

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

2.) Safety Glasses with Rx Inserts.

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

  • Rx inserts are usually cheaper than buying Rx safety glasses.
  • Safety eyewear with Rx inserts generally provides more protection than traditional Rx safety glasses with side shields.
  • The main safety lens protects the inserts. Replacing this lens if it gets scratched or broken is easy and usually less expensive than prescription lenses.
  • 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 prescription strength they can accommodate, so they won’t work for everyone. In addition, the accommodation of prescription strength varies significantly 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 a choice just as suitable as regular safety glasses.

Some individuals struggle to find a good fit, though. This is likely due to a lack of trying enough styles, but this option isn’t suitable 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 various 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 various tints. They can usually 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. Find out why workers aren’t wearing safety eyewear because there is usually an underlying problem.

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