People working in construction and other industries may be asked to wear hard hats as their personal protective equipment. This PPE is important because it protects them against falling items and blows to the head.
Hard hats are supposed to be used whenever there is a potential for injuries to the head due to falling objects or electrical shock. Interestingly, many of these helmets do protect against electrocution.
Other hard hats are designed for specialties by adding lighting or face shield, visors or earmuffs. It’s important to use the correct hard had for the workplace you’re in.
When should workers use hard hats?
Workers should use hard hats any time they are near:
- Demolition sites or barricades
- People or activities that could cause falling objects
- Overhead energized conductors
- Shelving or platforms with items that may fall and cause head injuries
Hard hats need to comply with specific standards set by the American National Standard for Personal Protection.
What kinds of hard hats are there?
Workers may wear one of five types of hard hats. The most basic is Class C, which doesn’t offer electrical resistance and is the lightest. Class E, alternatively, has the most protection against high-voltage shocks at up to 20,000 volts. Class G helmets offer electrical protection for up to 2,200 volts. These hats fall into two classes, Type 1 or 2. Type 1 covers the top of the head, while type 2 protects the top and side of the head.
What should you do if no hard hat is supplied in the workplace?
If you are in an environment where you know that items may fall or you could be exposed to high voltage, then you should have a hard hat. If your employer has not provided one, then they may be in violation of the law. It’s a smart idea to talk to them about your concerns and to ask for a hard hat. If you end up getting hurt because you don’t have one, then you may have a workers’ compensation claim. It’s a good choice to look into this claim and to report your injury as soon as you can, so that you can get the benefits you deserve.