• wpengine
  • June 2, 2020

My name is Ron Wittmeyer, and today we’ll talk about protecting your head while working on a construction site.

OSHA requires that employers provide personal protective equipment to their employees while on the construction site. And that includes hard hats to protect the workers’ heads. Employers, under the OSHA rules, must provide and pay for PPE, personal protective equipment.

ANSI standard for hard hats

Now, OSHA has adopted the ANSI standard for hard hats. ANSI stands for American National Standards Institute. It is a huge safety organization that creates safety standards. And OSHA, rather than creating all of its own standards for hard hats, adopted the ANSI standard Z89.1. And the most recent update is from 2009.

Hard hat classifications

Now, the ANSI standard provides for various classifications of hard hats. And the classifications depend on the level of protection that the hard hat provides against electricity. G is the generally-rated hard hat, which protects against 2200 volts of electricity. E for electrical is rated for 20,000 volts of electricity.

And then there is C, conductive, which means it provides no electrical protection at all. The most common class of hard hat worn on a construction site is G, the generally-rated hard hat.

Labeling requirements

Any hard hat that is compliant with the ANSI standard will have a label on the inside. And the label must state several things, according to the standard. It must state the manufacturer’s name. It must state the ANSI standard that it complies with. And it must state the ANSI class, as we talked about, that that hard hat meets. It must also state the size range and the date of manufacture.

Hard hat construction

Hard hats typically have the hard outer shell and then inner straps and bands to keep the hard hat away from your head so that it absorbs shock from any impact while also allowing your head to remain cool under summer conditions.

Colors of hard hats

Hard hats that are worn on a construction site come in several different colors. Yellow is for general laborers. Blue hard hats are worn by carpenters and electricians. Green hard hats are worn by safety inspectors.

White is worn by engineers, supervisors, foremen, and managers. Brown hard hats are worn by welders. And gray hard hats are worn by site visitors on a construction site.

It’s important that you know something about hard hats so you understand how to protect your head while working on a construction site. If you have any questions, feel free to shoot me an email.

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