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Q & A


Durable “One Size Fits All” construction

Santoprene is FDA approved – NSF rate

UL94HB flame rating

Service Temperature range -81F to 275F

Cleans easily with soap and water for good hygiene

Easily transfers from one hard hat to another

Expected life cycle is 3-5 years

Manufactured using 15% recycled materials


Keeps your hard hat on your head!

Cleans easily with soap and water for good hygiene

Functions correctly in all working environments

Head and neck strain are reduced

Gently grips your head stabilizing it


Secure with all hair types and head sizes

Works best with ratchet and pinlock suspensions

Use with welding helmets, face shields and more

Do hard hat accessories work?

1. YES! This one buckles like a belt  and stays securely in place until you remove it.

Buckled around the suspension gear, our head protection gear is strategically placed to be comfortable & secure.

2. The 79 grabbers create a fulcrum point creating stability in all working conditions.

Grabbers are flexible and gently create leverage using the shape of your head to stay in place, protecting you from a TBI.

3. The Hat Grabber will keep your hard hat on your head. Wear & adjust for maximum comfort!

A hard hat can be worn more comfortably because it fits looser without sacrificing stability while being worn.


Protective head gear should be used in every working environment which poses a reasonable risk of head injury. The types of head protection available vary from reducing the impact of a falling object to protection from electrical shock. Which hard hat you choose to wear is important! OSHA requires certain criteria be met for specific working conditions. While every employer has a responsibility for the safety of their workers, the individual worker must also be responsible.


OSHA references the ANSI, or the American National Standards Institute guidelines as the standard for head protection criteria. The Code of Federal Regulations, CFR Title 29 is OSHA’s guideline to Occupational Head Protection 1910.135.

This standard states in 29 CFR 1910.135(a)(1), “Each affected employee shall wear protective helmets when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.” The standard also addresses electrical hazards. 1910.135(a)(2) states, “Protective helmets designed to reduce electrical shock hazard shall be worn by each such affected employee when near exposed electrical conductors which could contact the head.”

This OSHA standard is not specific in determining which occupations mandate head protection, but it discusses this topic in a non-mandatory appendix (Appendix B to Subpart I—Non-Mandatory Compliance Guidelines for Hazard Assessment and Personal Protective Equipment Selection). Part (9) of the appendix declares, “Some examples of occupations for which head protection should be routinely considered are: carpenters, electricians, lineman, mechanics and repairers, plumbers and pipe fitters, assemblers, packers, wrappers, sawyers, welders, laborers, freight handlers, timber cutting and logging, stock handlers, and warehouse laborers.”

What Defines a “Protective Helmet?”

There is a difference between a bump cap and a hard hat. While bump caps are not measured by the ANSI guidelines, they are adequate in environments in which OSHA does not require an ANSI compliant hard hat.  Protective headwear  which are compliant to ANSI standards, are specified by Types and Class.

Helmets are one of two categories, Type 1 and Type 2. Type 1 helmets have a full brim around the entire hat.  Type 2 helmets have a short brim in the front. The most common helmet used today is a Type 2 or a short brim helmet.

Occasionally you  find specific hard hat types designated within industry specific compliance guidelines.  If  there is a choice available as to which type of helmet you select, select the type based on your specific application or work conditions.

Helmets have three Classes, A, B and C.

Class A Helmets are designed to reduce the impact of falling objects while lessening the risk of being exposed to low-voltage electrical conductors. To be certified, they are tested with a 2200 volt  electrical charge.

Class B Helmets  also reduce the impact of falling objects. Additionally these helmets reduce the risk of  contact with high-voltages electrical conductors. To be certified, they are tested with a 20,000 volt  electrical charge.

Class C Helmets also reduce the impact of falling objects, however they offer no protection against electrical contact.

This description of Class A and B helmets is not intended to indicate levels of protection. Please consult the manufacturer of each protective helmet to determine what coverage a specific helmet provides.

Protective headwear is  tested for it’s resistance to impact and penetration from strikes to the top of the helmet. Water absorption and resistance to flammability are also tested. The standard describes testing requirements in great detail. Any protective helmet which complies with the ANSI requirements, must be marked as certified with the following information inside the hat:

  • Name of Manufacturer
  • The legend, “ANSI Z89.1-1986″
  • The class designation (A, B or C)
ANSI Z89.1-1997

In 1997 ANSI published a revision to its Z89.1 head protection standard. ANSI Z89.1 contains some notable changes.

The revision eliminated the old Type 1 and Type 2 design designations. In the revised standard, “Type” is used to designate whether a helmet provides protection strictly from blows to the top of the head (Type I) or protection from blows to both the top and sides of the head (Type II).

In addition, Z89.1-1997 also changed the alpha designations for the classes of electrical performance. Under Z89.1-1997, the following three classes are recognized:

  • Class G (General) Helmets   This is equivalent to the old Class A. Class G helmets are proof tested at 2,200 volts.
  • Class E (Electrical) Helmets  This is equivalent to the old Class B. Class E helmets are proof tested at 20,000 volts.
  • Class C (Conductive) Helmets  This class provides no electrical insulation; the alpha designation did not change from the old standard.

Hard hats must also contain user information under the 1997 standard. In addition to the manufacturer’s name, ANSI legend and class designation, Z89.1-1997 compliant helmets must be marked with the date of manufacture. Instructions pertaining to sizing, care and service life guidelines must also accompany the hard hat.

ANSI Z89.1-2003

ANSI also published a revision to the Z89.1-1997 standard in 2003. The most significant changes from the 1997 version were made to harmonize with other national standards that test and evaluate equipment performance. In addition, many physical requirements for helmet components that do not provide added user value or that limited design or performance had been removed.

ANSI Z89.1-2009

ANSI published a revision in January of 2009. The significant changes from the 2003 version are three non-mandatory tests and are easy to understand. Each of these tests if elected to be tested by the manufacturer will display three new markings on the helmet.

The three optional test criteria are:

Reverse Donning: Helmets marked with a “reverse donning arrow” can be worn frontward or backward in accordance with the manufacturer’s wearing instructions. They pass all testing requirements, whether worn frontward or backward.

Lower Temperature: Helmets marked with a “LT” indicates that the hard hat meets all testing requirements of the standard when preconditioned at a temperature of -30°C (-22°F).

High Visibility: Helmets marked with a “HV” indicates that the hard hat meets all testing requirements of the standard for high visibility colors. This includes tests for chromaticity and luminescence.


OSHA Proposed Revisions

May, 2007 OSHA issued a notice of proposed rulemaking to revise the personal protective equipment (PPE) sections of its general industry, shipyard employment and marine terminals standards. The notice addressed eye and face protective devices, head protection and foot protection.

The proposal suggests replacing the existing references to specific consensus standards with performance language requiring PPE to be constructed in accordance with good design standards. Guidance for determining what is a good design standard is included in the proposal. OSHA is also proposing to add nonmandatory appendices that list standards that constitute good design standards. If OSHA chooses to adopt these proposals, the changes will be noted in the Federal Register.

Service Life

Service life is commonly misunderstood.  Many think hard hats have a predetermined service life. This is not true.  The 1986 and 1997 ANSI standards address service life in the maintenance and care standard for hard hats. The standards state;  all hard hat components should be inspected daily for signs of dents, cracks, penetration and any damage due to impact, rough treatment, or wear. While it is not considered to be a “shelf life”,  MSA brand hard hats include “Useful Service Life Guidelines”. These guidelines suggest replacing the suspension every 12 months and the hard hat after 5 years. Any hard hat failing a visual inspection should be taken out of service and the problem corrected before returning to service.

Besides usual wear and tear, ultraviolet (UV) radiation can damage hats constructed with plastic materials. UV radiation damage is easy to spot: the surface will lose its glossy finish and exhibit a chalky appearance. More serious degradation can cause the shell to actually begin flaking. If any of these signs are indicated, replace the hard hat shell immediately.




Q. Can  I put a decal be put on my hard hat?
A. In most cases, yes. We have worked in many environments which required certification stickers be visible on the helmet.

As a general rule, follow these two guidelines:

  1. The decals should be placed at least three-fourths of an inch away from the edge of the hard hat. This eliminates the risk of the decal acting as a conductor between the inside and outside of the helmet.
  2. In order to easily inspect the hard hat for damage, the areas of the hard hat covered by stickers/decals should be kept to a minimum.

Q. Is it safe to paint a hard hat?

A. ANSI Z89.1-2003 Appendix A4 states, when painting hard hat shells, caution should be used because some paints and thinners may damage or degrade the shell decreasing the level of protection. Before painting, consult the hard hat manufacturer.

Q. Can hard hats be worn backward?
A. Generally, no. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) released a standard interpretation and compliance letter dated July 22, 1992 that states:

“Because ANSI only tests and certifies hard hats to be worn with the bill foreword, hard hats worn with the bill to the rear would not be considered reliable protection and would not meet the requirement of 29 CFR 1926.100 (a) and (b) unless the hard hat manufacturer certifies that this practice meets the ANSI requirements.”

Before wearing your hard hat backward, you should obtain written verification and directions from the manufacturer on whether or not your hard hat model has been tested and found to be compliant with safety standards when worn backward.