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5900 Heckert Rd.
P.O. Box 324
Bakerstown, PA 15007
724-443-6767 Phone
724-443-6730 Fax

4001 Freeport Rd.
Natrona Heights, PA 15065
724-226-0444 Phone
724-226-0744 Fax


Eyes on Safety: A Comprehensive Look at Safety Glasses and Their Uses

October is National Eye Safety Month, a time dedicated to raising awareness about the importance of eye health and safety. Safety glasses are an essential piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) designed to protect the eyes from potential hazards in various environments. They are crucial for maintaining eye safety in workplaces, laboratories, construction sites, and even during recreational activities. There are different types of safety glasses available, each catering to specific needs and potential risks.

According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics, “There were 18,510 eye-related injury or illness cases that resulted in at least one day away from work in 2020, leading to an incidence rate of 1.7 cases per 10,000 full-time workers. The number of cases decreased 15.6 percent from 2019, while the 2020 incidence rate was down 10.5 percent from the previous year. Contact with objects or equipment led to the majority (11,980 cases) of eye injuries and illnesses requiring days away from work in 2020. Of these cases, 59.6 percent resulted from the worker rubbing or being abraded by foreign matter in the eye. Another 35.6 percent resulted from the eye being struck by an object or equipment.”

At home as we transition into the fall season, many individuals engage in various activities, including fall cleanup, home improvement projects, and outdoor maintenance. At work or at home, it’s important to use proper eye protection when working with machinery, chemicals, or any type of outside cleanup.

Various Types of Safety Glasses and their uses.

1. Safety Glasses with Side Shields

Safety glasses with side shields provide wraparound protection for the eyes. These shields are designed to protect the eyes from flying debris, particles, and other potential hazards that could come from the sides. They are commonly used in industrial settings, laboratories, and construction sites.

These types of glasses are used for:

  • Woodworking
  • Metalworking
  • Construction and demolition
  • Laboratory work

2. Goggles

Goggles are a more comprehensive eye protection option, offering a seal around the eyes to protect against various hazards, including chemical splashes, dust, and impact. They provide a higher level of protection compared to safety glasses with side shields.

These types of safety goggles are used for:

  • Handling chemicals and hazardous substances
  • Working with liquids or powders
  • Medical and healthcare settings
  • Chemistry laboratories

3. Over-the-Glasses (OTG) Safety Glasses

These are designed to fit over prescription glasses, allowing individuals who wear corrective eyewear to have the necessary eye protection. They typically have a larger frame to accommodate existing glasses.

These types of safety glasses are used for:

  • Individuals who wear prescription glasses
  • Work environments where prescription eyewear is necessary

4. Polarized Safety Glasses

Polarized safety glasses are equipped with polarized lenses that reduce glare from reflective surfaces, making them ideal for outdoor activities and environments with intense light.

These types of safety glasses are used for:

  • Driving
  • Fishing
  • Boating
  • Outdoor construction work

5. Shaded or Tinted Safety Glasses

These safety glasses have tinted lenses that provide protection against bright light, UV rays, and other specific environmental conditions. The tinting can vary in darkness to suit different needs.

These types of safety glasses are used for:

  • Welding
  • Outdoor work under sunny conditions
  • Activities with high exposure to sunlight

6. Anti-Fog Safety Glasses

Anti-fog safety glasses are coated with a special anti-fog layer, preventing fogging of the lenses in humid or changing temperature conditions. This feature is particularly useful in environments where workers may experience temperature variations.

These types of safety glasses are used for:

  • Environments with temperature changes
  • Humid conditions
  • Indoor and outdoor use

7. Face Shields

While not strictly glasses, face shields provide full-face protection, including the eyes, from splashes, droplets, and impacts. They are usually made of clear plastic and are used in conjunction with other protective eyewear for comprehensive coverage.

These types of safety glasses are used for:

  • Medical and healthcare settings
  • Manufacturing and fabrication
  • Grinding and cutting operations

National Eye Safety Month serves as a reminder that safeguarding our eyes should always be top of mind. Choosing the appropriate safety glasses is important to ensure eye safety in various work and home environments. Always consider the specific risks associated with the task at hand and opt for the most suitable type of safety eyewear to protect your eyes effectively. Remember, your vision is priceless, so prioritize your eye safety with the right protective gear.

Bissell Eye Care offices carry a variety of safety glasses and often your place of employment may cover the cost of safety glasses. To learn more call 724-443-6767 or 724-226-0444.

About Bissell Eye Care: John D. Bissell, OD owns and operates Bissell Eye Care servicing Northern Pittsburgh and Alle-Kiski Valley regions. With two locations to treat patients, we offer evening and Saturday appointments. Bissell Eye Care provides comprehensive eye examinations for the entire family beginning as early as 6 months, ocular disease detection and treatment, eyeglasses, sunglasses, activewear, contact lenses, and low vision examinations for those with significant vision loss. We accept most types of vision and health insurance plans. For more information, visit or call our Bakerstown Office at 724-443-6767 or Natrona Heights office at 724-226-0444.