Hard hats are an essential part of head protection. The brain is the body’s command center; it offers the body a way to function and must be protected. Hard hats are a type of helmets worn in workplaces to protect the head from flying objects, collision impact, debris, and shock.
Hard Hat Functions
- Protect you from falling objects.
- Protect your head in case of a fall or bumps into machinery, ductwork, and other structures.
- Protect you from electrical shocks and burns if it's a non-conductive hat.
A hard hat is a convenient place to put stickers and decals, especially for certifications.
Hard Hat Classifications
- Class-A hard hats are designed to protect the head from falling objects and low voltages.
- Class-B hard hats protect the head from falling objects and high voltages.
- Class-C hats do not offer any voltage protection.
In order for your hard hat to take care of you, you need to care for your hat.
- Always keep your hard hat properly adjusted.
- Do not cut, bend or heat the hard hat.
- When you see deep gouges or cracks in the shell, replace the hard hat with a new one.
- Do not wear it backwards.
- Do not put anything inside your hard hat except your head.
- Do not try to substitute the hard hat for a “bump cap.” The bump cap will not provide adequate protection from falling objects; just isn’t strong enough.
- Do not use the hard hat as a stool or a step; doing so weakens the shell of the hard hat.
- Pre-read the Toolbox Talk. Your comfort level and confidence will be higher if you know your topic.
- Discuss related tasks, work areas or events that make the Toolbox Talk relevant to your job site.
- Involve the workers by asking questions and input that drives discussion.
Questions for Discussion
- Did you know that there is a difference between different hard hat classifications?
- Do you know which type of hard hat that should be worn for the work you are doing?
- Have you known anyone who has suffered a head injury because they did not wear a hat hat?
- What important decals have you noticed on a hard hat?