Hardhats are made from plastic or fiberglass and include an outer shell and a suspension system designed to absorb impact and reduce injury.
Not all hard hats are created equally, and the technology and design have improved over the last couple of years. Type 1 hardhats provide top protection only while type II offer top and lateral protection from impact. Here’s some information to consider when choosing the right hard hat for your jobsite.
- Hard hats should be ANSI approved with the rating ANSO Z89.1-2014 in the USA. In Canada the rating is CSA Z94.1-15.
- There are three types of hard hat rating – “G” is for General which protects against low-voltage contact of 2,200 volts (phase to ground). “E” is for an electrical rating which protects against higher voltage at 20,000 volts (phase to ground). “C” is a rating for hard hats that do not protect against electrical hazards.
- Prolonged exposure to sunlight and harsh chemicals can compromise some hard hat shells, so be sure to replace them regularly.
- Select hard hats that are adjustable and allow for a personalized fit.
- Ensure that your hard hat has slots for face and hearing protection so these are easy to add when needed.