A man wearing a white hard hat and Armateck hand protection puts on safety glasses.
Trade Talk

How to choose the best safety glasses for the job

Safety experts and eye doctors agree that 90% of these eye injuries can be prevented simply by selecting the right kind of personal protective eyewear (PPE) for the job.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that in 2020, there were over 18,500 eye-related injuries or illnesses resulting in time away from work. Learn how to choose the right safety glasses, as well as types of lenses and tinting, to protect yourself and your crew on the job.

Types of safety glasses

Your eyes are sensitive and they need protection, especially when working with equipment that can cause burns or create flying debris that may penetrate the eye. Discover each type of safety glasses for different jobs to keep your eyes protected.

Welding glasses

Clear polycarbonate lenses with side protection can protect eyes from flying sparks and debris, but only shaded lenses can protect eyes from the dangerous ultraviolet and infrared welding light.

Different welding techniques have specific lens shade requirements. Consider opting for a welding helmet with variable shades that are suitable for a wider range of welding techniques.

Safety goggles for janitorial work

Prevent chemicals like toilet bowl cleaners from splashing into your eyes with safety goggles. Goggles with side vents are ideal to keep air flowing in and moisture out while you’re working.

Landscaping safety glasses

Protect your eyes from branches, flying debris and UV rays with safety glasses that have transition lenses, which will automatically adjust to your lighting condition.

Safety glasses for plumbing/HVAC

Look for safety glasses with an enhanced nose piece design and integrated ridges to channel away sweat while on the job.

Construction safety glasses

Choose curved, polycarbonate lenses for your construction projects. These qualities will provide superior impact resistance as well as peripheral vision and extra protection on the sides.


Safety lenses are available in glass, plastic, polycarbonate and Trivex™ materials. While all four types must meet or exceed the minimum requirements for protecting your eyes, polycarbonate lenses provide the highest level of protection from impact.

Additionally, safety glasses must carry the manufacturer’s permanent marking on the lens, followed by a “+” if the lenses are impact-rated, to meet the most recent ANSI Z87.1-2020 standard.


Lenses can be clear, tinted, photochromic or polarized. Each type offers various levels of ultraviolet protection. Tinted safety glasses are marked with a “V” if they have photochromic lenses. An “S” marks special-purpose tinted lenses.

Other markings on special-purpose tinted safety glasses include:

  • “W” and shade number: welding

  • “U” and scale number: UV filters

  • “L” and number: visible light filter

  • “R” and scale number: IR filter

Find the best safety glasses with Ferguson

No matter the type, the best safety glasses comply with the most recent ANSI Z87 standards for protection against blunt impact to both lenses and frame, non-ionizing radiation, dust particles and exposure to chemicals. Shop Ferguson for safety glasses.