Head protection is, as anyone working in a dangerous industry knows, essential. This vulnerable part of the body is also its most important asset, and impacts to this area can be disabling or fatal. You should always check with your manager to determine which hard hat is right for your line of work and the risks you experience on the job. However, there are a few basic classifications of hard hats that every worker should be familiar with.
Type 1 versus Type 2
Type 1 hard hats are designed to protect the wearer from hits to the top of the head. They are overwhelmingly popular on the market and are used in an array of industries.
Type 2 hard hats safeguard workers from lateral blows in addition to hits to the top of the head. They often have foam padding on the interior, and are less common, except in extremely dangerous lines of work.
Class C, E and G
The class of helmet delineates what type of work it will protect from. Class C hard hats, meaning Conductive, will not protect the wearer from electrical shock. Class G, for General, can resist up to 2,200 volts of electricity, while those who work with heavy-duty electrical equipment should wear Class E, for Electrical helmets. These hard hats can withstand up to 20,000 volts.
Face shields are essential for people in certain lines of work. They are designed to protect the wearer from flying debris, like wood shards or chemical splashes. However, these pieces of equipment should always be worn with safety glassesand a hard hat, to ensure that the wearer is fully secured. These pieces of gear come in varying thicknesses and are made with several materials, so you should discuss the grade of face shield you need with your manager.