A hard hat is certainly one of the most noticeable pieces of safety equipment one can identify in the industrial workplace. It’s an industrial helmet to protect you from falling objects and impacts by sharp or blunt things. In America itself, more than 20 Million workers wear hard hats at work, yet the numbers of accidents reported per year are approximately 120,000. Such a staggering figure represents on the job head injuries only, out of which 1500 are almost fatal.
From the above figures, we can understand that it is arguably the most essential equipment for workers to ensure personal safety at any industrial site. Features of a comfortable hard hat are durability, reliability, ruggedness and lightweight and manufacturers often consider various factors in building them as not all of them are suitable for every type of work climate. Hard hats come in different types and are categorized in classes so that employers and employees can determine the best suitable hard hats as per their work environment.
Materials used to make them
Most of the hard hats including hard hat accessories are manufactured nowadays with the use of advance technology and are results of well researched and experimented practice. The core shells are made up of thermoplastic like Polyethylene or Polycarbonate resin or materials like fiberglass or aluminum. High-density Polyethylene better known as HDPE are mostly used in hard hats as they are nonconductive to electricity as well are strong and light in weight. The suspension system in the hard hats that distribute the impact of the blow to the other edges are made of strips of woven nylon webbing and molded HDPE bands. These bands are sometimes of nylon or vinyl.
A comfortable hard hat will also feature a brow pad. These brow pads are attached to the front of the headband as it increases the comfort level of the helmet. The materials used to make up the brow pads differ depending on the manufacturer but are mostly of foam supported vinyl, cotton terry cloth or sometimes of special fibers. Most of the manufacturers, however, select varying mixtures of cloth material with cotton as it augments the helmet’s ability to absorb sweat. Sometimes, it also helps in avoiding irritants while at work.
Make of other hard hat accessories
Depending upon the use and the work climate, hard hat liners are also available in different materials. Cotton, Nylon and polyester made liners make a great demand and are an efficient protective gear against cold, flame and extreme conditions. OSHA (The Occupational Safety and Health Administration) in its guidelines suggests that an employer should check with manufacturers whether use of liners with their hard hats/hard hat msa’s is compatible. They recommend employers to check the same with the hard hat manufacturers as well. Other accessories like hard hat decals and stickers may not concern us with their quality and material but, they have a crucial role in safety and precaution at workplace. Decals and stickers are part of any safety program as they add visibility and help us to identify skilled employees. They can carry important safety reminders and can promote employer’s safety awareness program. In cases of emergencies, it helps us to identify trained and authorized safety personnel instantly and help us to assign the job quickly. Ideal and an inexpensive way of communicating safety to employees, decals and stickers are mostly available in sensitive vinyl or engineer grade reflective as it increases low light or nighttime vision.