Parts of a Hard Hat
Wearing a hard hat is very important because it protects the most delicate part of your body: your head. These simple, yet indispensable devices have numerous features that help keep your head safe:
- Rigid Outer Shell - This deflects and resists blows to the head.
- Internal Suspension System - This piece acts as a shock absorber. It shields your face, neck, scalp, and shoulders against spills and splashes.
- Faceshield - This feature is only available on some varieties and serves to protect your face.
Kinds of Hard Hats According To ANSI
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) states that helmets purchased after July 5, 1994 must comply with the performance guidelines in the ANSI Z89.1-1986, American National Standard for Personal Protection—Protective Headwear for Industrial Workers Requirements. ANSI Z89.1-1986 separates protective helmets into different types and classes of helmets.
Types of Hard Hats
- Type 1 helmets incorporate a full brim, which means that the brim encircles the dome of the hat.
- Type 2 helmets do not have a brim, but may include a short bill similar to a baseball hat.
Classes of Hard Hats
- Class E - Protection against electrocution up to a maximum of 20,000 volts.
- Class G - The general category of hard hats, also offers protection against low-voltage conductors to a maximum of 2,000 volts.
- Class C - Basic hard hat that only provides fall protection, not electrical.
How to Pick a Hard Hat
When choosing the right hard hat for you, consider the following:
- Material - Your gear should first be made from polyethylene, a tough, durable material.
- Adjustable Straps – These allow for tightening or loosening to ensure your hat does not fall off.
- Color - Colors may be required at construction firms in order to distinguish between trades or workers and visitors to give an idea of who is on site and who is not.
- Headband Adjustment - Headband adjustment, similar to ones found on a bicycle helmet, allows you to adjust your hard hat to a comfortable fit.
- Weight - The weight of the hard hat is important if you wear your gear all day; the lighter, the better. Manufacturers are continually looking to make their hats lighter.
- Durability - Finally, make sure the hard hat is durable and will always work for you from one job site to the next.