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Wearing Hard Hats Prevent Injury

Like work gloves and safety boots, hard hats should be part of the everyday work equipment for people who are serious about their safety.

800px-Yellow_hard_hatHard hats must be worn when working on construction job sites and in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns, according to OSHA Part 1926.

Also, OSHA requires employers to provide head protection for each employee who is working in an environment where there is the possibility of head injury. And not just any head protection, but a hardhat that meets standards prescribed by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

ANSI categorizes hardhats by types of impact. Type I is a hard hat that is designed to reduce the force of impact on top of the head. Type II hard hats protect against impacts on the top and side of the head.

There are three classes of hard hats:

  • G (general), which is an all-purpose helmet that provides good impact and impact protection and are able to withstand up to 2,000 volts of electricity;
  • E (electrical), which provides the highest level of protection from high-voltage shocks – up to 20,000 volts; and
  • C (conductive), which does not protect against electric shocks.

Hard hats should:

  • Resist penetration and deflect blows to the head.
  • Have a suspension system that can absorb the force of impact.
  • Serve as an insulator against electrical shocks (when warranted).
  • Be water resistant and slow burning.
  • Shield the scalp, face, neck and shoulders.

Most hard hats are made of non-conductive, high-density polyethylene (HDPE) and come equipped with a suspension that can be adjusted for a custom fit. Suspensions are available with four, six, or eight load-bearing points and can be fitted using several different types of adjustments. The most common are pin lock, where the hard hat is removed and a pin is matched to a corresponding hole, and ratchet, which uses a knob to tighten or loosen the suspension's fit around the head while wearing the hard hat.

Hard hats are available in a variety of styles, such as cap hard hats with a short brim that helps shade the face from sun and rain, and full-brim, which shades the face, back of the neck and ears. Hard hats are also available in a variety of styles, such as professional sports team logos, camouflage, and a spectrum of colors.

No matter the color or the style, it’s important to remember that hard hats protect you from minor injury, concussion or death. Therefore, your hard hat should be treated with respect and care by:

  • Frequently inspecting the suspension system and shell for cracks and breaks. If any are found, replace the hard hat.
  • Never storing the hard hat in direct sunlight.
  • Cleaning the hard hat shell and suspension system with a mild detergent, and rinse with warm water.
  • Never drilling holes in the hard hat as it can damage the shell and nullify the electrical insulation rating.
  • Never using adhesives, paints of cleaning solvents on it as it may damage the shell and lessen the effectiveness of the protection.

Neff Rental requires its employees to wear hard hats when they step onto job sites for equipment repairs, to check equipment hours or to visit customers. Like you, we are serious about our employees’ safety.

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