What to Know When Selecting a Hard Hat

Hard hats are an essential personal protective item worn at many job sites. Whether paving roads or building structures, this protection delivers an extra layer to prevent certain impact-related injuries.

Although a hard hat typically doesn't make a fashion statement, it can help reduce injury risks related to the following workplace concerns.

  • Flying Objects
  • Falling Materials
  • Impact-Related Injuries
  • Electrical Shock or Burns

The average hard hat is made from two primary components. First, the outer shell is usually constructed of fiberglass or plastic, providing the required impact protection. It serves as a visible sign that workers are complying, while different colors can identify specific workers or responsibilities.

Secondly, the suspension or headgear is the bridge between the individual and the shell. It's designed to absorb energy as it offers protection.

Tips for Finding an Appropriate Hard Hat for the Job

When you need custom hard hats for your job responsibilities or to comply with site rules as a business owner, the following tips can help you select an appropriate product for your needs.

1. Comfortable Fit

When a hard hat is comfortable to wear, workers are more likely to keep it on while completing their responsibilities. It helps to look for models with plenty of webbing built into the suspension component when shopping for this safety product. The designs with extra padding typically provide the best results.

2. Lightweight Materials

ABS plastics, composite materials, and Pyramex hard hats are durable enough to meet or exceed the current ANSI requirements. They also weigh considerably less than the older designs that workers used to wear.

A hard hat sitting heavily on the head can cause neck tension, headaches, and fatigue as the day continues. Those issues affect worker productivity, leading to poor craftsmanship or less compliance with the safety rules.

3. Approved Design

Every hard hat should be ANSI-approved. You'll find several class ratings within the Z89.1-2014 definitions, but three typically stand out for those in the construction industry.

  • G-rated hard hats are meant for general use. They're the typical safety product you see on most workers today, offering protection from exposures with low-voltage conductors.
  • E-rated hard hats are meant for electrical work, delivering dielectric protection for up to 20,000 volts.
  • C-rated hard hats are conductive. They don't provide protection against contact with electrical conductors, but many designs add ventilation to improve comfort.

When shopping for a new hard hat model, you'll see that there are Type I and Type II models. The first option provides top protection, while the latter delivers an improved safety profile for lateral impacts.

You'll want to read the ANSI standard and definitions, evaluate your workplace environment, and choose the appropriate class and type for your hard hat needs.

4. Adjustable Fit

One size of a hard hat won't fit everyone. Some guys out there wear a Size 8 fitted cap, while some people might need something under seven inches. Even when the manufacturer says the design is “one size fits most," that excludes some people.

An adjustable fit helps people create a comfortable wearing experience because the process is personalized to them. Some features, such as ratchet-style headgear or removable absorbent material, add to the adjustments and acceptance of wearing this safety product while working.

5. Ready for Accessories

Many workers need hearing or eye protection while completing their duties. Some employees could want full face options that work to keep them safe. When a hard hat simplifies the process of wearing these items with accessory slots, it's much easier for everyone to comply with the current safety protocols.

You can purchase a broad range of options for different workers. Some employees might need a basic hard hat for a brief visit to inspect things, while others might need a design that works for all-day wear.

Do You Need Hard Hats for Your Job Site Today?

Most people recognize and understand the purpose of having hard hats. When a head injury occurs, the results can be catastrophic, even if the event isn't fatal or life-changing. If the proper protection could have prevented the issue, the outcomes would have been even more devastating.

The wrong hard hat can lead to discomfort, triggering workers to wear it incorrectly or stop using it altogether. It isn't good enough to have this safety product available. When you pick a design that handles the needs of each person, you'll be helping them complete their duties while improving the odds of going home safe after their shift.

Speak with your trust hard hats supplier today to find the best-fitting product for your crew!

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