In the office or workplace, safety is the key thing that all companies always make sure. While in working time, one of the various ways to make sure safety, is the use of hard hats that includes physical hazards. The hard shell helps to prevent different head injuries like concussions, brain damage, etc. OSHA 1926.100 states that companies must provide hard hats in workplaces where it can be a possibility of head injuries from objects, electrical shock, or burns. There are hard hats available in the market which can fit every job, environment, and personality. The top brands for hats are MSA, Fiber-Metal, Bullard, 3M, and Honeywell.
TYPES OF HARD HATS
According to ANSI Z89.1-2014, hard hats have 2 types which are Type I and Type II. Type I hats are used to protect workers from objects that can come from above and hit the top of the helmet, while Type II can protect against lateral blows and objects. Analyze the workplace, environment, location to know which type is suitable for your site.
CLASSES OF HARD HATS
According to ANSI Z89.1-2014, there are three classes of hard hats i.e. E, G, and C, showing their electrical insulation rating.
CLASS E (ELECTRICAL) HARD HATS
These are known as electrical hard hats, and these decrease exposures to high voltage conductors and provide dielectric shield up to 20,000 volts. However, this protection can protect the head only. Hence, for protecting your rest body from any electrical damage, you must wear additional PPE for safety.
CLASS G (GENERAL) HARD HATS
These are known as general hard hats. You can use these hats to reduce the exposures to low voltage conductors as well as provide dielectric shield up to 2,200 volts. As mentioned above, you must wear additional PPE to protect the worker below the head.
CLASS C (CONDUCTIVE) HARD HATS
These are known as conductive hard hats, however, these are different from the other 2 classes. They provide protection against contact with electrical conductors. These hats protect the wearer from impact blows to the head only.
Usually, there is a sticker in the hat which denotes the hat’s type, class, and manufacturing year.
HARD HAT SUSPENSION AND STYLE
There are 2 popular styles of hard hat suspension which are known as ratchet and pin lock. A ratchet adjusts with a ratchet at the hard hat’s back. A pin lock adjusts with pins and holes at the hard hat’s back. Hat’s backbone is its suspension. While choosing a hat, it is an important factor to consider. Additionally, there are more 2 classifications of hard hats that are known as vented or non-vented hats. A vented contains small slots at the hat’s crown to encourage airflow, and a non-vented don’t contain any slots. A vented hat is best for people who work in the sunlight. Overheating is a serious issue and preventing it, is very necessary.
There are hard hats that can fit all kinds of job, environment, and personality. You can customize your safety, fit, and look as given below:
• Standard brim versus Full brim, for 360-degree protection from objects, sun, and rain
• Logos and Hi-Vis striping
• Fiberglass for high temperatures
• Face shield or visors for shielding from flying debris, infrared radiation, chemical splashes, radiant heat, and arc flashes
• Accessory slots to hear protection
• Sweatbands, liners, and shades
• Personalization: cowboy style hats, camo, sports teams, patriotic, and many others
• Bump Caps: These caps look like industrial baseball caps. They are NOT ANSI certified and are for workers only who seldom bump or scrape their heads.
As you know the different styles, types, and classes of hats, so now we will talk about a tool that will help you to choose the best hat that can fit your workplace needs.
CUSTOMIZE YOUR HARD HAT
Different companies such as Honeywell, 3M, and MSA are providing tools for hat customization. In these tools, you can select the hard hat model, quantity, color suspension, and style. (It is a 3 step process). You can preview, share, and save your designs. Please check the manufacturer sites for this thing.
WHEN TO REPLACE HARD HAT
Like other types of PPE, similarly, you should also replace hard hats overtime to make sure that your workers will get maximum protection. Hazard like dents, cracks, penetrations because of rough treatment, is a sign to replace a hard hat needs. Heat and rays are harsh and can cause hats to be brittle over time. Checking your hard hat before use is very essential. Except Assessing a hat by just looking at it, there is another way to check a hard hat, which is that you should hold it in your hands and put force by squeezing it. If there are any sounds like creaking or other unusual sounds, then you need to replace your hard hat. Some companies recommend replacing your hats every 12 months. According to industry standards, it is recommended to replace your hard hats every 5 years even if there is no damage to hat.
Now you have enough information to select the right hard hat for you. Before you select any hat, just consider the two types of hard hats first, then consider classes, which hat class is suitable for your work environment. Also, make sure to select the right suspension and style also.
As you know now different things about hat like types, classes, styles, etc. then it is easy for you to choose the right hat relying on your workplace. The head is a very important part of our body, and you must protect your head in the best way.