If you work in a field that requires the use of safety glasses, you know how important it is to have a pair that fits well and provides the level of protection you need. But if you also require prescription glasses, finding a pair of safety glasses that meets both criteria can be a challenge.
And when you’re in an environment with hazards that can come from any direction – be it flying objects, chemicals, dust or other airborne particles – the last thing you want to worry about is whether your glasses are protective enough to keep your eyes safe.
That’s where prescription safety glasses with side shields come in. By extending the coverage of your lenses to wrap around the sides of your eyes, these glasses provide an extra level of protection against potential hazards. And because they’re designed specifically for those who need both corrective and protective eyewear, you can be sure that they’ll provide a comfortable, custom fit.
So if you’re in the market for prescription safety glasses with side shields, read on for our top picks.
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Best Prescription Safety Glasses with Side Shields
Phillips Safety Rx-15011 Safety Glasses
One of the best prescription safety glasses with side shields comes from Phillips Safety with their Rx-15011 safety glasses. It’s made of TR-90 nylon, which is a lightweight, shatter-resistant material.
The integrated (permanent) side shields give you comprehensive protection, while the rubberized adjustable nose pads and temple bars ensure a secure, comfortable fit.
One of the biggest benefits of the Rx-15011 is the fact that it can take high Rx strengths, which isn’t the case for all frames.
Of course, it also meets ANSI Z87 standards for high velocity and high mass safety protection. They’re great for workers in the medical field, as well as anyone who needs a pair of prescription safety glasses with side shields. The included lens is impact-resistant polycarbonate, but you can also upgrade to Trivex, which has slightly better optical clarity.
OnGuard 220S Safety Glasses
OnGuard Industrial Safety has been producing prescription safety eyewear since 1999. Their 220S safety glasses are a streamlined TR-90 nylon pair of glasses with a rubber nose piece and temple grips that keep them in place without slipping.
The 220S is a non-conductive frame, meaning it contains no metal components. That makes it appropriate for arc flash hazard environments or in applications such as fine electronics. Additionally, integrated side shields provide maximum protection from chemical splashes and flying debris.
The 220S is certified to ANSI Z87.1, CSA Z94.3, and EN166 safety standards and comes in two different sizes. It’s also prescription-eligible, including bifocal or progressive lenses.
Wiley X Chase With Removable Side Shields
If you want just one pair of glasses to wear at home and work, the Wiley X Chase is a great choice. A stylish rectangle frame that comes in 3 different colors, the Wiley X Chase comes with clear removable side shields so you can also use them as your everyday pair of glasses.
The 4-base lens is flat enough to allow for high prescriptions without the fishbowl effect, and movable nose pads give you flexibility to adjust for fit while ensuring the optical center of your lenses line up with your pupils. The side shields do give you excellent peripheral protection when attached.
The frame meets ANSI Z87.1 standards for safety as all Wiley X frames do, so you can rest assured knowing that your eyes are well-protected.
ArmouRx 5005 Safety Glasses
If all you really need is a basic pair of safety glasses with side shields, the ArmouRx 5005 is a good choice. The plastic rectangle frame is stylish enough to wear without looking too dorky, and it’s ANSI Z87.1 and CSA Z94.3 approved. The glasses are also Rx-eligible, so if you need prescription lenses, you can get them fitted.
The 5005 has integrated clear side shields that provide good coverage, and the glasses are comfortable to wear for long periods of time. One downside is that they don’t have a lot of ventilation, so they can get a little bit sweaty in hot weather. Overall, though, they’re a good value for the price.
Phillips Safety Rx-600 Metal Safety Glasses
The Phillips Safety Rx-600 is a metal aviator-style pair of safety glasses with removable side shields. It’s got a roomy fit that’s perfect for larger heads or wider faces. The nice thing about the Rx-600 is the large aviator lens, which provides great peripheral vision.
The glasses meet both ANSI Z87 and EN 166 safety standards for optical clarity and impact resistance, and a grippy nose piece ensures that they stay on securely without slipping.
Another great budget choice, you can save yourself some serious cash with these even with prescription lenses.
Zenni Kids’ Protective Glasses 749512
Got a petite face? Or a kid who needs eye protection for their home projects? Zenni’s got you covered with this rectangle frame. It comes in 4 different colors so you can have a little fun with it too.
The small frame size is perfect for kids or for adults with small faces, and the plastic side shields and rubber top and bottom extension will help keep your eyes safe from dust and particulate matter. Keep in mind that this frame is not ANSI Z87-certified, so it’s best for RNs or those that need basic eye protection.
You can also customize this frame with single-vision prescription lenses or non-Rx reader magnifications from +0.25 to +2.75.
Are Side Shields Required on Safety Glasses?
There is no federal regulation that requires side shields on protective eyewear, but the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) does require some sort of side protection if an employee is subject to flying objects in their line of work. It also depends on the type of safety glasses you wear.
Wraparound safety glasses already have side protection built into the design of the frame. On non-wrap glasses, side shields help protect the wearer’s eyes from hazards coming from the sides, and may be required by your employer even if not specifically required by OSHA.
Are Prescription Glasses with Side Shields OSHA Approved?
OSHA may require safety glasses with side shields for specific jobs. If that’s the case, your employer will have to provide a pair that meets the ANSI Z87.1 standard for impact resistance. You can also purchase your own pair of prescription glasses with side shields that meet this standard.
Can I Turn My Prescription Glasses Into Safety Glasses?
No, you cannot turn your prescription glasses into safety glasses. Safety glasses must meet certain impact resistance standards in order to be effective, and prescription glasses do not usually meet these standards. However, you can purchase prescription safety glasses that meet the necessary impact resistance standards.
What Are Integrated Side Shields?
Integrated side shields are permanently built-in side shields attached to the frame of a pair of safety glasses. This means that the side shields cannot be removed without damaging the glasses. Integrated side shields provide more protection than removable side shields, as they cannot be accidentally removed.
Does My Employer Have to Pay For My Prescription Safety Glasses?
Employers are generally not required to pay for prescription safety glasses as they are only required to provide adequate eyewear protection without vision correction. However, there may be certain circumstances where an employer is required to pay for prescription safety glasses.
For example, if an employee’s vision cannot be corrected to meet the minimum requirement for the job, the employer may be required to provide and pay for the necessary corrective eyewear. Additionally, some employers may choose to provide prescription safety glasses as a benefit to their employees. Employers should check with their state’s labor laws to determine if they are required to provide and pay for prescription safety glasses.
Can You Use a Face Shield Instead of Safety Glasses?
No, a face shield cannot be used in place of safety glasses. Face shields provide facial skin protection only and must be used in conjunction with eye protection.
Safety goggles or glasses should be used together with a face shield to provide impact protection. ANSI-rated eyewear is essential when working in hazardous conditions.