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OSHA and hard hats

OSHA safety hats According to law (1926.100(a), an employee must wear protective head gear at any time they are in an area "where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns."
In order for an employee to provide appropriate protection against potential workplace hazards, it is crucial that he or she understands all potential safety conditions present by conducting a comprehensive hazard analysis prior to selecting the protective head gear to be worn by employees.

The Law
For job site safety, OSHA has very specific requirements regarding the use of hard hats. According to the Code of Federal Regulations 1926.100(a), an employee must wear protective head gear at any time they are in an area "where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from falling or flying objects, or from electrical shock and burns." Further, OSHA Article 1926.100(b) requires that head protection ?the construction, fit and care ?be regulated. "Helmets for the protection of employees against impact and penetration of falling and flying objects shall meet the specifications contained in American National Standards Institute, Z89.1-1969, Safety Requirements for Industrial Head Protection."

It was also during this time that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) began developing the first safety standards for head and eye protection on the job. By the 1930s, hard hats were a construction site requirement on several historic and high profile projects including the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge.

Function
By regulation, protective helmets or hard hats must:
  • Resist penetration by objects.
  • Absorb the shock of a blow.
  • Be water-resistant and slow burning.
  • Have clear instructions explaining proper adjustment and replacement of the suspension and headband.

Construction
To comply with ANSI Standard Z89.1-1986, hard hats must have a "hard outer shell and a shock-absorbing lining that incorporates a headband and straps that suspend the replicas relojes breitling shell from 1 to 1 1/4 inches (2.54 cm to 3.18 cm) away from the head." The intent of this design is to deliver shock absorption for safety and provide ventilation for comfort.

Types of ANSI Standard Hard Hats

  • Class A hard hats provide impact and penetration resistance along with limited voltage protection (up to 2,200 volts).

  • Class B hard hats provide the highest level of protection against electrical hazards, with high-voltage shock and burn protection (up to 20,000 volts). They also provide protection from impact and penetration hazards by flying/falling objects.

  • Class C hard hats provide lightweight comfort and impact protection but offer no protection from electrical hazards.
While the 'bump hat' is another type of commercially available protective headwear, often used in areas with low clearance, it important to note that the bump hat is not ANSI approved for protection against falling objects.

 
 
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