OSHA announces switch from traditional hard hats to safety helmets
As per the recent Safety and Health Information Bulletin published by OSHA on Nov. 22, 2023, traditional hard hats are no longer the only option or the safest for protecting workers' heads. With advancements in design, materials, and features, modern safety helmets are now available to provide better protection to workers' entire heads.
While traditional hard hats offer basic protection, safety helmets take it to the next level. One of the key differences between the two lies in their construction materials. Safety helmets are made of a combination of lightweight composites, fiberglass, and advanced thermoplastics, which not only enhance impact resistance but also reduce overall weight, making them more comfortable to wear for extended periods of time.
Determining when to use a safety helmet on the job
Employers must conduct a hazard assessment at their job sites and based on the workplace hazards determine whether head protection is necessary.
When head protection is needed, employers should consider using safety helmets instead of traditional hard hats as helmets come equipped with chin straps that help maintain the helmet's position in case of a slip, trip, or fall. [Ref U.S. Department of Labor Head Protection]
Recommended Uses for Safety Helmets
- Construction Sites: For construction sites, especially those with high risks of falling objects and debris, impacts from equipment, or slips, trips, and falls, safety helmets have enhanced impact resistance and additional features that offer superior protection compared to the components and construction of traditional hard hats.
- Oil and Gas Industry: In these sectors where workers face multiple hazards, including potential exposure to chemicals and severe impacts, safety helmets with additional features can provide comprehensive protection.
- Working from Heights: For tasks or jobs that involve working from heights, safety helmets offer protection of the entire head and include features that prevent the safety helmet from falling off.
- Electrical Work: For tasks involving electrical work or proximity to electrical hazards, safety helmets with non-conductive materials (Class G and Class E) provide protection to prevent electrical shocks. However, some traditional hard hats also offer electrical protection.
- High-Temperature Environments: In high temperatures or where there is exposure to molten materials, safety helmets with advanced heat resistant properties can provide additional protection to workers.
- Specialized Work Environments: Jobs that require integrated face shields, hearing protection or communication devices benefit from safety helmets designed with these features or the ability to add them on.
- Specific Regulatory Requirements: Where safety helmets are mandated by regulations or industry standards, employers must comply with these requirements to ensure worker safety compliance.
- Low-Risk Environments: Even in settings with no overhead hazards, safety helmets will provide comprehensive protection, especially if the risks can become more severe.
We offer a wide range of modern safety helmets that meet the latest safety standards and provide maximum protection to workers. Now is the perfect time to upgrade your safety gear and invest in the latest safety helmets to protect yourself and your workers. Don't compromise on safety - trust our store to provide you with the best safety equipment available in the market.