Safety Glasses: FSA Eligibility
What are safety glasses?
Safety glasses are a form of eye protection that are typically designed to keep an individual's eyes safe from a specific type of threat or danger, such as sparks, shrapnel, infection, light, environmental hazards, weather hazards, water, etc (AllAboutVision.com).
Safety glasses are sometimes considered interchangeable with safety goggles, although the former typically refers to a glasses-like construction that does not fully seal or cover the eye area, whereas the latter refers to a complete enclosure that may provide a seal and barrier effective against water, gases, or violently circulated particles, i.e. helicopter rotor wash.
Safety glasses are not eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account because they do not treat, alleviate or prevent a medical condition or disease. However, prescription safety glasses are considered eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account, just like all prescription eyewear.
Safety glasses are commonly made of polycarbonate, a very strong material that absorbs ultraviolet light and is scratch-resistant. Polycarbonate also serves as an excellent material for safety glasses construction because they are resistant to shattering from impacts.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) rates safety glasses and the industry standard is Z87.1-2010. ANSI Z87.1-2010 means the safety glasses are rated for their effectiveness against impacts, splashes, dust, welding, ultraviolet light, infrared light, visible light.
Safety glasses are used in a variety of activities, from woodworking and welding to sports like skiing and hockey. Safety glasses are also typically required on workplace sites where heavy construction is occurring. Most safety glasses are intended to be worn alone, or to wrap over prescription glasses. If the safety glasses themselves are fitted with a prescription, then they may be considered eligible for reimbursement with a consumer-directed healthcare account.