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When Should Safety Glasses Be Worn?

Fact checked by A. Thompson

When should safety glasses be worn

When should safety glasses be worn? The answer is obvious: Put on your safety glasses when working and doing activities near hazardous objects or in dangerous environments that might hurt your eyes.

In detail, potential hazards that require us to be highly aware include flying items, small particles, radiation, hot splashes, toxic fumes and scents, biological substances, and more. No matter where you are, when facing such dangers, do not forget to shield your eyes with suitable safety glasses.

When Do We Wear Safety Glasses?


Numerous eye injuries happening at the workplace are preventable with proper protection. And, many of us seem to neglect to put a pair of safety eyeglasses on when doing DIY tasks at home or playing in a sports game.

At your workplace – According to Occupational Health and Safety Act (OHSA) standards, workers must be protected by safety gear when performing in conditions with potential dangers. Employers are responsible for worker’s health and safety, so wearing safety glasses can be compulsory in your workplace.

Hazardous tasks that require safety glasses include healthcare. In this sector, we put on medical protective glasses to shield us against airbornes and diseases. In laboratories, we are required to put on a specialized suit and safety glasses at all times. This is to avoid splashes of corrosive chemicals or broken glasses in case of explosions.

At the construction site, wearing protective goggles is a must for all worker ranks. Either you are a supervisor or a construction worker, you must have glasses to block falling debris and sudden flying objects. Along with safety glasses, wearing a helmet is a compulsory measure at the construction site.

When doing electrical work, you have to put on dielectric safety goggles to avoid dangers caused by electricity. Furthermore, tasks in carpentry, auto repair, plumbing, and manufacturers work also require sufficient protection for our eyes if small objects, hot water splashes, or wooden chips attack our vision.

Another job that requires us to be equipped with a specialized face shield or safety glasses is welding. When performing such hazardous duties, we need durable and extensive dark lenses with protective helmets to keep us safe.

Work at your house – While at the workplace, it is compulsory to put on safety glasses. But that’s not the case at home, so we tend to forget or neglect it. Unfortunately, such carelessness can result in severe unwanted eye injuries. In truth, each year, more than 125 000 Americans hurt their eyes while doing repairs around their houses.

Suppose you decide to make improvements for your house, like checking the plumbing, redoing the roof, making a new desk for your kids, care repairs, and other types of home maintenance. In those cases, make sure to put on a decent-quality pair of safety glasses.

Some people are under the impression that protective eyewear will make them look ridiculous while doing small tasks around the house.

Yet, not all models are bulky and ugly like you think. You can always purchase a simple and stylish piece to wear when cooking or grilling dinner over an open flame for your family gatherings. Better safe than sorry!

At a sports game – You can have all the fun at a sports game and still be safe if you wear safety glasses. For instance, while going fishing, exposure to UV rays and reflective glare will hurt our eyes. Thus, it is best to put a UV-protection pair that can resist glare on. Now you can continue finishing without worry about eye redness or irritation later.

This is the same for various sports games held indoors and outdoors like paintballs, baseball, racquetballs, and more. When you notice that something in the game will be a danger to your eyes, make sure you have your safety glasses with you.

Different Hazards and Suitable Safety Glasses to Block Them


Flying objects – To block sudden flying objects, big or small, you need a pair that can handle the significant impact. Furthermore, the glasses must cover your eyes completely, offering an excellent peripheral view for you to be aware of the surroundings. It is excellent if the gear has side shields, too.

Besides, safety glasses to block objects and even hard edges should be coated with an anti-scratch finish. That way, it can protect while ensuring long-lasting clarity.

UV radiation and glare – We can easily find sunglasses with high-quality lenses that filter up to 99% of Ultraviolet lights that harm our eyes. Plus, transition safety glasses that allow optimal protection against harmful rays then become clear for our indoor tasks.

Other hazards that affect our eye health and work performance are glare and reflective lights. In that case, we need lenses with anti-glare coating, which will cost us more than standard UV-protection glasses. But, such a product will ensure minimal visual and color distortion and eye irritation.

Electrical hazards – When working around electricity, it is necessary to be equipped with dielectric safety glasses. Such gear features non-ducting frame material without any metal part. Thus, the eyewear can insulate against electricity to protect you and your eyes.

Heat, hot liquids, hot solids, and metal – This kind of hazard requires us to wear thermal protection safety glasses. And you should know that such pieces will be a bit bulky and as they have thicker and wider lenses to shield against thermal risk factors. In addition, they are often over-the-glass pairs that cover the eyewear underneath.

Airborne and chemicals – If you seek safety gear for medical and laboratory uses, it is best to go with ones that have splash-proof and anti-fog lenses. More importantly, the glasses have to cover your eye area completely with gasket and side shields. That way, airborne and chemical vapor cannot enter the glasses and hurt our eyes.

Some FAQs About Wearing Safety Glasses

Should I wear safety glasses to protect myself from COVID 19?

Yes, you should. Experts say you must not consider safety glasses as an alternative for face masks. If you go out, especially when joining crowded places like the bus or trains, you can wear both: a medical mask and protective eyewear.

Is wearing prescription glasses enough to protect my eyes?

Not at the workplace, no. Prescription lenses can only correct your vision; they cannot possibly protect your eyes against hazards presenting at the worksite. Besides, they are too small, not scratch-resistant, barely blocking flying objects and dust, etc. In other words, you need a pair of over-the-glass safety goggles to protect you.

Who certifies safety glasses?

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) certifies all personal protective equipment (PPE), including safety glasses. So, you can check out pieces that have ANSI certification to make sure they are qualified to protect you.


The bottom line is if your workplace might present potential hazards for your eyes, make sure you put on safety glasses. Furthermore, when doing maintenance work or DIY tasks at home, do not forget to cover your eyes with protective gear. Also, during sport matches, safety glasses will allow you to have fun while being safe.

And you can wear this protective equipment along with a face mask to protect you from the COVID-19 viruses.

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