How to Choose the Right Hard Hat
What does a hard hat do to actually protect you?Hard hats were one of the first safety items to be considered essential to a construction worker’s safety. An early version was a cloth cap sporting a varnished leather brim worn by gold and copper miners. Nothing on a jobsite works harder to protect crew members than the modern-day hard hat.
Are there performance requirements that hard hats must meet?OSHA regulations require the use of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) compliant head protection (ANSI Z89.1-2014).
There are two types of protection from blows:
- Type I: Protects against blows to the top of the head
- Type II: Protects against blows to the top and side of the head
There are three classes of head protection from electricity:
- Class E (electrical) Is tested to withstand 20,000 volts
- Class G (general) Is tested to withstand 2,200 volts
- Class C (conductive) Does not provide any protection from electricity
The best hard hats use a suspended, anchored head strap assembly to connect the outside protective shell to the wearer’s head.
How does a hard hat fit on your head?
There are three types of suspension:
- Ratchet Suspension adjusts by turning a knob at the rear of the suspension.
- Pinlock Suspension adjusts by taking hat off and inserting a pin into its corresponding hole.
- One-Touch Suspension adjusts by squeezing and separating the suspension to achieve the best fit.