Hard Hats - Head Protection For Your Workers

Hard Hats - Head Protection For Your Workers

What protection do they offer my workers in the field?

They will protect your workers heads from blows and falling debris.  They have protective systems inside that will act as a shock absorber if something falls on a worker head.  Some types will protect your workers from electrical shock.

Are they considered personal protective equipment?

Hard hats are a component of  PPE- Personal Protective Equipment. They fall under OHSA’s standard for head protection (1910.135(a)(1)) and (1910.135(a)(2)  These standards state that an employer should ensure that all affected employees wear one when they are working in an area where there is the potential for injury to the head from falling objects and debris and where there is exposure to electrical conductors that could have contact with the head.

Who sets the criteria for safety?

The last revision to the standard which is put forth by ANSI  (American National Standards Institute) provides the performing and testing requirements. It can be found under ANSI Z89.1-2003.  The hard hats that meet the requirements of the 2003 standard are classified as type 1 (Top Head protection) and type 2 (lateral impact head protection which also includes top head protection). Both types are tested for impact resistance.  Look for the ANSI standard or OSHA compliance printed inside the hat to be sure that the one that you are purchasing is safety compliant.

Do they all offer the same protection?

Along with type 1 and type 2 classifications (see questions above) there are three classes that indicate the rating for electrical insulation. They are Class E which are tested to withstand 20,000 volts of electricity, Class G which are tested for 2200 volts along with Class C which do not provide any electrical protection.

What are bump caps?

Bump caps are a lightweight alternative hat, but they are not OSHA certified and should only be used in situations where a hard hat is not OHSA required.

Why is there suspension inside the hat?

The suspension is the part that spreads out the force of impact.   Most hats come with either 4, 6 or 8 point suspensions   It is typically better to choose  one with more points in order to better deflect a blow.

What type of suspensions are offered?

There are four types of suspensions that are used:  (1) The ratchet suspension allows you to size the hat to fit comfortably on your head by adjusting a small knob in the back at the nape of the neck.  (2) A touch suspension adjusts to your size by squeezing and then sliding one side to fit into the other side for that perfect fit.  (3) A Pin-lock suspension will adjust by matching a pin to a hole.   (4) A Swing Ratchet Suspension uses a reversible ratchet to self-adjust to your head size.  Replacement suspensions can also be purchased.

What type of accessories can be purchased for hard hats?

Accessories can be added to further protect the face, neck and shoulders. Some hats have a slot on the side that will allow for accessories to be attached.  Following are a few additional items:  (1) Safety liners can be added for comfort for workers on the job.  It extends over the neck to protect the neck from harmful UV rays.  ( 2) Heat Stress head products, that include cooling pads which can be chilled  in cool water and attached  with a hook and loop strap   (3) Shades can be purchased to protect and shield the eyes and face from the harmful rays of the sun.  (4) Ear muffs can be attached in the cold weather to keep ears warm.   (5) There are also chin straps, winter liners and lights.  (6)There is also a special waterproof tape that allows a worker to attach medical information to the inside of the hat.  A decal is then placed on the outside to alert emergency medical personal.  This is a must needed inexpensive accessory for any worker that has medical conditions.

Are there any special maintenance requirements?

They should be maintained in good condition and routinely inspected for dents, cracks or splits. Always replace a hard hat after a heavy blow to the head or any kind of electrical shock.

What sizes do they come in?

They usually come in four sizes, small, medium, large and X-Large. The suspensions also come in sizes.  The suspension and hat size must always match to ensure maximum protection.  The best way to determine a workers size is to use a soft tape measure and wrap this around the head just above the eyebrows.  Hold the tape measure snug (but not too tight).  Depending on what brand you are purchasing, this measurement should be a good guide.  Different manufacturers have different sizing charts.

Do you offer different styles?

There are many styles to choose from.  There are standard and full brim  in addition to hats with rain troughs to keep rain away from the eyes and face. We also carry the slotted hats for accessory attachment.  Our hats come in an assortment of colors.  You can also special order your favorite NFL team's hard hat and even one with the American Flag.  Some of our customers order them with their company logo.

If you have additional questions for your purchase, call our toll free number at (866) 864-3495 and one of our experts will assist you in choosing the best one for your workplace.  OSHA now requires that employers are responsible for the payment of PPE for their employees and  hard hats are  PPE-Personal Protective Equipment.  Refer to our Summary of the Final Rule on Employer Paid PPE for more information.

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