Head Protection - Safety Equipment
Occupational Safety and Health Standards 1910.135 requires that the employer ensure head protection equipment in the form of hard hat, safety helmet, bump cap where there is danger to the head where there potential of falling objects. There a three types of head protection classifications of safety helmets:
- Class G (General) Helmets --Which was the old Class A. Class G hard hats are tested at 2200 volts.
- Class E (Electrical) Helmets --This is was the old Class B. Class E protective helmets are tested at 20,000 volts.
- Class C (Conductive) Helmets -- Class C did not change. This class provides no electrical insulation
Any of these types of head protection equipment would be implied for industries such as construction, manufacturing, foundry, foresting, and any other industrial application where debris or machinery can present a potential danger. In situations where shock danger is involved, hard hats that are class E are required by OSHA. Regardless of the make or manufacturer of hard hats, they all must be made in accordance to any of the standards of ANSI Z89.1-2003, ANSI Z89.1-1997, and ANSI Z89.1-1986. Now if protection for the head is needed at a minimal than bump caps can be used. Note that bump caps do not meet ANSI and CSA standards for head protection. A common question we hear is, how long can I use my hard hat? While there is no time frame of serviceable life to the hard hat, routine inspection of your hard hat should be made. With the beating it takes from your work conditions and the environments itself, make sure there are no cracks, chips or fading to the outer layer of the safety helmet. Make sure that the inner suspension of the safety cap is adjusted correctly and that there are no cracks either.