A hard hat, or helmet is an essential item when it comes to protecting the head against injury. There are many different kinds of head protection available, ranging from arc-rated helmets to firefighting helmets. The role of general head protection is not only to keep the head safe from impact and/or injury but also protect the eyes, nose and mouth of the wearer. CHARNAUD® produces a wide range of head protection including fully certified accessories such as arc-rated visors, goggles and balaclavas.

Selecting the most suitable helmet for the hazards of the job depends on a list of specific factors; for example, the risks faced by an electrical worker differ to some degree to those faced by a construction worker, however the need for suitable head protection remains the same. When selecting the most suitable head protection, there are several factors which must be considered, for one: is the wearer exposed to heat, fire, flames and/or arc flash or the risk of falling objects and/or debris? Determining the type and severity of the risk will help determine which helmet is best suited for the job.

The Different Classes of Helmets

Although a helmet is designed to protect the wearer’s head, not all helmets offer the same level of protection. If we compare a firefighter, an electrical worker and a construction worker we can see how their helmet needs differ. A firefighter requires a helmet that protects against impact and is fire rated; an electrical worker requires a helmet that is both arc rated and whereas a construction worker will need a helmet that offers impact protection.

Helmets are classified according to the type and protection level they offer; this helps Occupational Health and Safety Personnel to select and purchase the correct helmet, with the associated level of protection for employees to combat the hazards faced on the job.

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Helmets that Protect Against Impact

Impact helmets are classified into Type I and Type II. A Type I helmet is designed to protect against impact to the top of the head. This class of helmet does not protect against side impact. A Type II provides protection against both top and side impacts.

Helmets for Electrical Workers

Helmets for electrical work are classified as Class E or Class G. Class C helmets are not intended for use by electrical workers who are working with live electrical installations. Class C helmets are designed for non-electrical work because the helmet is conductive and may fabricated from conductive materials such as an alloy. Class E helmets are intended for use by electrical workers who work with high voltage conductors. These helmets are tested up to 20 000 volts and are embossed with the label ‘Class E’ on the interior of the helmet. Class E helmets are fabricated as solid helmets with no air vents. Class G (General) helmets are designed to offer protection against exposure to low voltage conductors. These helmets are tested to 2200 volts and are designed with air vents to increase comfort and breathability. Class G helmets should only be worn by workers who are not at risk of arc flash or who don’t work on live electrical installations.

Contact CHARNAUD® Today

Head protection is just one important component in the spectrum of safety gear. Knowing the types of hazards faced on the job as well as the types of head protection available, and their protection levels, will ensure that employees are suitably protected in the workplace. Investing in the cheapest or incorrect kind of PPE can cost lives so that is why it pays to invest in fully certified, high-quality PPE; manufactured and supplied by global safety wear leaders, like CHARNAUD ®.

Contact CHARNAUD® today to discuss how they can best serve your employees’ safety wear requirements.

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