Understanding The Need For Hard Hats Safety

It would be impossible to remove every hazard from the work place. The severity of injuries, however, can be minimized if workers wear suitable protective headgear. Every year unacceptable numbers of workers sustain serious head injuries due to accidents at work. Many of these injuries could be avoided if proper hard hats safety protocols were in place.

Safety Laws

Employers should have a good understanding of work place safety laws and implement these effectively throughout their organization. A failure to adhere to regulations could result in substantial fines. Death or serious injury arising from negligence may lead to criminal proceedings against employers. Responsible employers accept that they have a duty to safeguard workers.


There are specific circumstances that demand safety gear should be worn. If there is a possibility that objects may fall from above, or that workers could bump into them, then hats must be worn. If there is a risk of electrocution, from overhead cables for example, the appropriate headgear is an absolute necessity.

Risk Assesment

The most appropriate head wear for any given situation will be determined by a work place risk assessment. There are basically two types. The first, Type I,is designed to protect heads from impacts from above. The second, Type II, provides additional protection from lateral impacts. Additional features such as earmuffs or face shields may also be appropriate.

Head Gear

Helmets are further classified based upon their ability to protect the wearer from electrical shocks. A Class E, or electrical helmet is proof tested to withstand 20 000 volts. These afford the greatest level of protection against electrocution. A class G, or general helmet, provides more limited protection,but will withstand 2 200 volts. A class C, or conductive helmet, offers no such protection and is not suitable where electrical hazards are present.


All helmets are subject to eventual deterioration. It is advisable to replace helmets after five years. If there is any obvious sign of distress to the shell such as scratching, dullness or cracks, the helmet should be considered unsafe. If a helmet is struck by a hard object, it will have to be exchanged for a new one, even if no damage is apparent. If the helmet cannot be secured properly to the head because of damaged suspension, these parts should be replaced.


Workers should avoid making any modifications to their hats as doing so may compromise performance. Similarly, they should avoid using paints, solvents or harsh chemicals on hats. Hats are best stored out of direct sunlight as UV exposure causes deterioration. The straps should never be pulled back over the peak of the helmet. They should always be worn with the peak facing forwards.

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