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HEAD PROTECTION: Does it matter what Hard Hat I choose?


The first line of defense against work related injuries is the all-important hard hat and one of the most important components of our PPE (Personal Protection Equipment) since it protects the most valuable part of your body - your brain. It could be a lifesaving piece of of equipment in any industry where a potentially damaging impact to the head is possible such as those in the construction environment. 

2 min
Stick Block Brick Fell On Engineers Head While Wearing Hard Hat

Head Protection With VisibilityProtection for your most valuable body part - your brain.


To be better prepared for the task we are performing or the job site we are entering, it is critical that we not only know the requirements for hard hats in the industry but also their proper application for the task at hand.  While OSHA doesn’t give too many guidelines on how hard hats are constructed or designed, they do give some guidelines on the level of protection needed and requirements of when they should be used.  Let's start with the types of hard hats available.


Which type of hard hat is neededWhat are the hard hat types?

Hard hats fall in to one of two types defined by the area of the head that they protect and should meet ANSI Z89.1-2014 and or CSA Z94.1-15 North America Standards.  Below are the two types of hard hats:

  • Type I - Type I offers protection to the top of the head and generally rely on a suspension system for impact
  • Type II - Type II offers protection to the top and sides of head and incorporate foam for impact


Are their classes of hard hats and what are the stipulations for such classes?

Yes, below are hard hat classes:

  • Class C - These hard hats do not offer electrical protection
  • Class E - (Electrical) These hard hats are rated at 20000 volts
  • Class G - (General) These hard hats are rated for 2,200 volts

Peakview Translucent Hard Hats

Should your hard hat be inspected, how often and what should be some of the guidelines?

Your hard hat should be cleaned and inspected daily.  Below are just some of the items that should be looked for when inspecting your hard hat:

  • Suspension straps - Look for any fraying, stretching, tearing or general disrepair
  • Suspension strap tabs - Inspect to make sure there are no visible cracks or weak points
  • Foam - Cracking, pieces missing or other types of degradation
  • Shell - Inspect for cracks, dents, holes or degradation from UV radiation or other weather elements

If any of these conditions exist, the hard hat should be replaced as soon as possible.


What are some other good housekeeping guidelines for our hard hats?

Keeping hard hats in good working condition is critical for our safety. Generally, we would not want do anything that may compromise their intended purpose.  This could happen by modifying it or by using accessories not designed for hard hats.

Tossing or sitting on our hard hat could compromise its integrity. We would not want to place items inside the hard hat while wearing it as this could decrease the effectiveness of its ability to protect us should and impact occur. Generally hard hats should not be worn backwards.  If visibility is a problem with a particular task a Peakview Hard Hat is an ideal choice for head protection.


How long should our hat be in service?

Along with our daily inspections, most manufacturers specify a service life of 2-5 years depending on the application. The manufacturer date of a hat can be found on the inside of it.


Head Protection | Safety Hard Hats & Safety Helmets

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