Top tips for ordering prescription safety glasses online

Safety Glasses Online

Thursday, 12 May, 2022

Top tips for ordering prescription safety glasses online

Work-related eye injuries are a common problem in the Australian workforce. According to the ‘Work-related eye injuries in Australia’ report, they are a routine cause of work-related injury presentation to emergency departments in Australia, and also result in about 500 admissions to hospital per year. Grinding and welding are the two most common tasks being performed when an eye injury occurs.

Many workers require prescription eyewear to safely perform their roles, and this PPE is often supplied by their employers. As a consequence, optometrists regularly face queries about what is involved in the process of ordering prescription safety glasses online.

Safety Glasses Online, an eye protection supplier founded by optometrists, has the following advice for businesses looking to purchase prescription safety glasses online.

What information is needed?

  1. Firstly, a current optical prescription is required — preferably less than 12 months old. Ideally the prescription will also have a pupil distance (PD) measurement mentioned, along with lens advice. But this is not necessary, as really all that is required is a basic optical prescription.
  2. It is important to know which kind of frames the wearer requires. For example, these may be positively sealed (more like standard spectacles) frames or perhaps a sporty wraparound safety frame. Once the frame style and preferred colour is noted, then lenses can be selected.
  3. When selecting lenses, choose a type such as single vision, bifocal or progressive lenses.
  4. The next step is determining whether the lenses should be clear (this is how they are provided, unless selecting a ‘lens extra’ option). It is possible to have the safety glasses tinted or polarised (so they are like sunglasses all of the time). There is also a photochromic option that changes from clear to grey tinted lenses in sunlight.
  5. Does the wearer require a lens coating? These lenses come with a hard coating to help prevent scratching, and wearers can choose to have an anti-reflective coating added (this coating helps deflect oncoming headlights from the lenses, and also helps with reflections from fluorescent lights). There is now a blue-blocking version available on certain safety frames. Mirror coatings can also be added to certain frames, but businesses should be aware that with a mirror coating the certification only becomes compliant, not certified.

What is the difference between lens types?

Single vision refers to having one prescription in the lens, meaning that it is designed to do one thing, such as improve distance vision or reading. Bifocal lenses enable wearers to incorporate two different prescriptions in the lenses, with the distance prescription at the top and then the reading section surrounded by a line.

Progressive lenses, on the other hand, have been known by many different names. These include multi-focal, vari-focal or even graduated lenses. All of these terms refer to the same thing: a lens that has a distance prescription at the top of the lens — in front of the wearer’s eyes — and the reading prescription at the bottom of the lens. The prescription changes from the top to the bottom of the lens to cover intermediate (computer distance), and everything in between. There are no lines on these lenses. But the trade-off is that the wearer does not get to use the entire lens to see. There is decreased peripheral vision, so the wearer needs to turn their head to see clearly, and they cannot read with a progressive lens while lying down.



  1. Current prescription.
  2. Determine frame preference.
  3. Select lens type.
  4. Determine whether lenses should be clear.
  5. Determine whether a lens coating is required.


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