What to Look For in Safety Goggles

Better than a poke in the eye.

Man working on construction wearing safety goggles.
Eye protection is essential safety gear.Getty Images

The Bureau of Labor Statistics reports that nearly three out of five eye injuries happen when workers aren’t wearing eye protection—and that doesn’t even include what happens at home when nobody is looking. Whether you are using chemicals or tools, protect those precious peepers by choosing the right eye protection for the job.

DEWALT DPG82-11/DPG82-11CTR Concealer Clear Anti-Fog Dual Mold Safety Goggle
This protective eyewear has polycarbonate lenses that resist shattering and scratches while ensuring a clear view.DEWALT

Goggles are only as good as their lenses, so it’s important to look for indicators that the material between your eyeballs and whatever chemical or tool you’re using can stand up to the job. Polycarbonate is a special plastic originally designed for aerospace, so it’s impact resistant, meaning it won’t shatter if something hits it. Lenses coated with scratch-resistant and anti-fog chemicals will ensure you can see clearly for the long haul.

Uvex Ultra-Spec 2001 OTG (Over-the Glass) Visitor Specs Safety Glasses with Clear Ultra-Dura Anti-Scratch Lens
Perfect for users who already wear spectacles—this option protects your eyes and your eyewear.Honeywell

Glasses wearers, rejoice! You don’t have to choose between clear vision and eye protection. Some safety goggles are designed to fit carefully over your eyeglasses to protect your eyes as well as your regular eyewear. Many even use anti-fog coating, to ensure you’ll be able to see through both sets of lenses. To prevent scratching, make sure there’s a gap between the lenses of your glasses and the safety goggles.

SolidWork Safety Goggles with universal fit, Safety Glasses with Grey, Fog-Free, Anti Scratch and UV Protection Coated Lenses, Spectacles for Eye Protection
This option features a fully adjustable head-strap and soft contact surface for an easy fit.SolidWork

Protective eyewear only works if you use it, so make sure that the design you select is comfortable. An adjustable headband ensures that safety goggles fit securely without pressing the delicate points on your head or face. Look for a soft contact surface where the goggles touch your face for comfort and a seal to protect your eyes—especially when using caustic chemicals. A panoramic design will give you the widest field of vision and protect your eyes from the sides as well as the front.

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