Dont lose your head over Hard Hat Standards!

Hard Hat Standards Decoded - A Glossary You Can Live With

Hard Hats

Of all the pieces of equipment you use on a daily basis, your head is one of the most important! It helps you make the right and safe decision, its critical in your day to day operations, and heck its usually the first thing people see when they look at you. Construction workers face an immense risk of traumatic brain injuries on the job and since 1970, OSHA has been tasked with mandating regulations to create safe work environments and reduce injury from hazards. Hard Hats and Head Protection are important parts of that.

Bump Cap? Hard Hat? Whats the difference?

There are many different jobs, many different hazards and different levels of protection are needed. The 4 styles of hard hats Critical Tool focuses on are:

    Bump Caps when things go bump in the night, you need this lightweight and economical protection where head protection is desired, but not necessarily required.
    Full Brim Hard Hats This hard hat means business! Provides a brim that goes all the way around the hard hat.
    Climbing Helmet Hard Hats These hard hats are going places! They include a chin strap making them idea for working at heights

Do I have a Type?

Hard Hats are further divided into 2 categories of protection Type I and Type II.

    Type I: Rated for top impact only. Protects blows to the crown or top of the head from falling tools or small parts falling from a reasonable height. Or and weve all done it that bonk on the head when you stand up under an obstruction. Our most popular Type I hard hats are our Pyramex SL Series Cap Style Hard Hats.
    Type II: Rated for top and side (lateral) impact. This offers a more overall type of head protection, including side impact while working around moving equipment or the hazard of a horizontal impact.

You dont HAVE to go to Class to learn about Hard Hat Electrical Classes!

The American National Standards Institute (Your friend and mine ANSI) establishes standards for products, processes and systems in the US. According to ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 Standards for Industrial Head Protection, hard hats are classified by their ability to withstand electrical shock.

    Class G (General) Provides limited voltage protection, Non Conducting. These hard hats are tested up to 2200 volts and are ideal for general construction applications
    Class E (Electrical) Provides protection from high voltage shock and are tested up to 20,000 volts. These hard hats are what you need when being regularly exposed to high voltage environments.
    Class C (Conductive) These do not provide voltage protection are not intended to be used around electrical hazards. Great for impact protection, these hard hats are designed with vented options to improve ventilation.

How do I know if my Hard Hat complies with OSHA regulations?

Its easy to tell just look in the shell! ANSI requires permanent markings or labels inside all certified hard hats. This will provide information such as Manufacturer, date of manufacture, ANSI Type and Class and any ANSI standards your head protection meets.


Critical Tool has products specialists available to help answer any questions you have regarding head protection. Our Critical Mission is to get you home in one piece every day. Take care and stay safe!

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