All The Acronyms For Eyewear

Gloved hand holding a pair of safety glasses

When it comes to prescription eyewear there are a variety of technical terms and acronyms that may be confusing jargon for those who don’t work in the optical industry. There are even more when it comes to safety-rated prescription eyewear as well. As the leading manufacturer of prescription safety eyewear in North America, we’re here to help you and your business better understand the lingo.

Here are some terms we think you should know when it comes to prescription safety eyewear:

EHS – Environmental Health and Safety

We use this term when talking about an Environmental Health and Safety manager. An EHS manager is typically the person who contacts SafeVision on behalf of their company, asking for our help to design a corporate procurement program.

PPE – Personal Protection Equipment

Prescription safety eyewear, hardhats, work boots, and gloves are all under the description of PPE.

ECP – Eye Care Professional

Eye care professionals include the eye doctor’s office, optical shops, and retail stores that may do both. They may simply handle eye checkups and exams or offer frames and fittings. Rarely does an ECP create prescription eyewear in house beyond a “single vision” prescription. More often, especially with safety prescription eyewear, the optical shop will key in your order to send to an optical laboratory. SafeVision as a division of Hoya Vision Care has a state-of-the-art optical laboratory in Plymouth, MN. SafeVision partners with ECPs all across North America to process prescription orders for our client’s employees’ safety eyewear.

PAL – Progressive Addition Lens

A particular type of multi-focal lens, a PAL lens has three magnification levels. The difference is that they carve the magnification into the lens rather than being pre-molded with visible lines like a bifocal or trifocal lens.

AR – Anti- Reflective

Anti-reflective is a coating you can add to a lens to reduce the visible reflection. This reflection can be seen in your glasses when trying to take a selfie due to the light. An AR coating would eliminate the glare, so the lenses appear clear in a picture. SafeVision offers a variety of advanced lens coatings which incorporate anti-reflective properties with anti-scratch, anti-smudge and blue light protection.

ANSI – American National Standards Institute

ANSI is an organization respected by many government bodies due to its composition of experts in various fields that make recommendations for safety standards. ANSI is not a government body but is often deferred to by organizations such as OSHA with regard to prescription safety eyewear. ANSI Z87.1 standards are particular to safety eyewear.


OSHA – Occupational Safety and Health Administration

On the other hand, OSHA is a government body that inspects workplaces and can impose stiff fines and repercussions for organizations that don’t meet safety guidelines for their employees and the public. OSHA has its own policies, but they defer to ANSI Z87.1 standards for safety eyewear.

EN 166 – These are the safety eyewear standards in Europe that are akin to ANSI Z87.1 in the US.

AS/NZS 1337.1 – These are the sister standards to ANSI Z87.1 in Australia and New Zealand.

CSA – Canadian Standards Association also has its own set of safety eyewear standards similar to ANSI Z87.1, known as CSA Z94.3.


Reach Out to SafeVision

If there are any terms on here you don’t see but would like to know what the acronym means, reach out to us! Our team is here to answer any of your questions, help fill your prescription safety eyewear order, and help your organization establish a prescription safety eyewear procurement program for your employees. To learn more visit us at

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