Hard hats are commonly used in many types of workplaces to protect employees from head trauma caused by falling objects, striking their head against an object, or electrical hazards. The hard hat is a piece of personal protective equipment designed to individually protect an employee when all other methods of protection cannot.
Two classifications of helmets have been established for electrical protection. They are: • Class G (General) provide protection from low-voltage conductors and are tested to less than 2,200 volts; • Class E (Electrical) provide protection from high-voltage conductors and are tested at 22,000 volts. Class C (Conductive) are not intended to provide electrical protection.
When a force strikes a properly fitted hard hat, the force is distributed throughout the entire hard hat. It prevents the force from concentrating at one point. Inspect a hard hat when it is new and first put into use, prior to each day’s use and after an incident where the integrity has been challenged. Look for gouges; cracks; deterioration; chalking or discoloration; flaking; suspension properly attached to the shell; all straps in good condition; and cleanliness.