Choosing a pair of safety glasses that meet the safety requirements of both your workplace and OSHA standards requires some research. Often, when considering different safety glasses many features are considered but one seems to get overlooked a lotâ€”the frame technology.
What does frame technology consist of? It can be everything from the material itâ€™s made from such as carbon fiber or composite. However, it can also mean certain safety features such as being non-conductive or shatterproof.Â It may not seem like a big deal, but frame materials have a significant impact on comfort, safety, and durabilityâ€”not just style.
Therefore, it’s crucial for anyone in construction, manufacturing, or any industry requiring eye protection to place an emphasis on the frame. You need to understand both pros and cons of various frame materials and features before making your final choice.
Frame Materials Make The Difference In Safety Glasses
Safety glasses are meant to protect your eyes from damage due to flying debris, chemical splashes, UV rays, and other hazards. The frame features you need will be determined by the environment of your workplace. Some frames arenâ€™t suitable for one environment, but ok for another. You just have to factor in the hazards you face daily when choosing the right frame material.
Safety glasses can be constructed from various different materials, but there are several that are the most common. Each will have its own pros and cons mainly depending on what you encounter daily that could be dangerous.
Metal frames are generally the most durable option, providing maximum protection from high-impact hazards. However, they can be heavy and uncomfortable for some users and even pose a shock hazard in electrical environments.
Plastic frames tend to be lighter than metal frames but may not withstand extreme conditions as effectively. The main tradeoff here is that they are typically more affordable and can handle impact better.
Rubber frames are also lightweight and may offer better comfort than plastic and metal for some users. Another advantage is that they are the most affordable and are relatively durable given the nature of rubber.
Composite frames offer the physical characteristics of all threeâ€”strong, lightweight, durable, and comfortable. However, they are the most expensive frame material on the market.
Frame Technology To Consider
When we talk about frame technology weâ€™reÂ talking about features that offer:
- Specific hazard protections
- Optimal fit and function
- Maximum visibility & clarity
The whole point of safety glasses is to protect your eyes from whatever hazards are present in your work environment. You may not need every single protective feature, so many manufacturers make different models geared toward different industries. For example, if you work as a welder, you may need tinted lenses and frames that can withstand high temperatures. If you work in a warehouse pulling parts, you, on the other hand, will want a lightweight frame with clear lenses to read stock numbers clearly.
However,Â no matter the industry your safety glasses are used in, they at least must meet OSHA safety standards. That being said, there are some pretty universal safety features your glasses should possess no matter the industry.
Most safety glasses on the market are already impact resistant, so this is a pretty easy feature to find. They can protect your eyes from flying debris which is common in just about any industrial environment. Impact resistance is by far the number one feature needed in frames. That is why you will be hard-pressed to find safety glasses that arenâ€™t impact resistant.
Anti-fog coating is one of the key features you should look for when searching for safety glasses. No matter your workplace, fogging lenses can happen regardless. The coating prevents your lenses from fogging up, which could obscure your vision and hinder performance.
Additionally, there are various anti-fog coatings available such as hydrophobic and oleophobic coatings. Why are these extra features necessary?
Hydrophobic coatings repel water molecules. In environments such as off-shore oil rigs or hot environments where you may sweatâ€”this is a huge benefit.
Oleophobic versions repel oils. This could be oil spray from machinery, but most often this feature is sought out because it repels fingerprints. You touch your glasses a lot during a workday and fingerprints are a common problem on lenses and frames.
No matter which anti-fog coating you select, make sure to follow all manufacturer’s instructions regarding care and cleaning for optimal performance. With proper treatment and care, anti-fog-coated lenses should provide many years of clear vision.
The number one threat to your eyes when working outdoors is one you canâ€™t eliminateâ€”the sun. UV rays from the sun need to be filtered out to protect your retina. However, you can also be exposed to UV rays in many indoor environments. Artificial UV light sources are used to clean and sterilize and are often found in medical facilities. Choose glasses specifically rated to protect against UV rays and your eyes will thank you.
Wrap Around Protection
Frames that have wraparound protection mean that the side arms of the frame are wider coming off the lens to provide side shielding. As well the frames are curved to hug your brow and some even have extenders over the top to envelope your eyes. This offers enhanced debris protection and maximizes UV filtering too.
Adjustable Nose Pieces
Most safety glasses have nose pieces you can adjust to give a more customized fit to your face. This may not seem so important but it creates a secure fit. Additionally, it makes it harder for glasses to fog up.
Blue Collar Opticsâ€”Your HQ For Safety Glasses
When selecting safety glasses, the frame material and safety features are of utmost importance. At Blue Collar Optics we carry such a wide variety of options that we can cover any and all needs. We are an authorized distributor of Wiley X, one of the most popular brands of safety glasses on the market.
Contact us and let one of our consultants find the perfect pair for you and make sure that your eyes are always protected!