Anyone climbing outdoors or indoors, for work or for fun, needs a helmet. A helmet or a hard hat should be considered a fundamental part of PPE. Why? Direct head trauma from a height of about 10 feet is sufficient to cause permanent brain damage or even death. Accidents while working at heights happen all the time: climbers can fall or bump into equipment at heights, drop equipment, rocks fall, massive plumes of snow or ice can appear out of nowhere. Check out the reported accidents database, you will be surprised, as these reports prove that care and attention are necessary even on the seemingly easy ground.
What should you be looking for in a helmet? Focus on these characteristics: foam types (EPP or EPS), ventilation, weight, comfort, sizing, adjustability, and headlamp compatibility.
- Protective Foam: Expanded Polystyrene is an incredibly hard and reliable material that will protect even from serious impacts, but it will be crushed while absorbing the blow and will need to be replaced as soon as you notice cracks. Expanded Polypropylene is engineered to absorb strong impacts without shattering.
- Ventilation: Although poor ventilation is a common complaint among many helmet users, there should be a perfect balance between ventilation requirements and safety because to improve ventilation more empty spaces were added, which increases a chance of a smaller rock or an insect to get inside a helmet through ventilation holes.
- Weight: The lighter helmets are less likely they are to shift around your head when you look up or down. However, there is a correlation between weight and durability: the heavier the helmet is, the more durable it is.
- Comfort: If it is not comfortable, you won’t wear it. Period.
- Sizing: A perfect fit is achieved by the correct sizing: a helmet should be comfortably snug.
- Adjustability: A helmet without adjustability does not make sense. Good helmets offer adjustable straps around the head and around the chin so you can adapt it to your perfect fit.
Need a headlamp? Today most helmets provide headlamp compatibility. Some helmets have removable headlamp clips which save you weight when you unclip them. However, constant clipping-on/unclipping might decrease the lifespan of your helmet.
VERTEX Best: Why We Recommend It
Of all the helmets we sell at PK Safety, this one is one of the most popular options for safety. Petzl has engineered this helmet for comfort as well as safety, and they have always been at the top of the industry in terms of intelligent design.
This helmet is used by cellular and wind energy technicians, tower climbers, rescue workers and many people working in industrial production facilities where climbing for maintenance is required, such as pharmaceutical manufacturing, petrochemical and gas production facilities. It has a smart fit adjustment system that keeps the user’s head centered in the helmet. The fit-adjustment wheel can be easily used even without removing gloves. Complete accessorization includes optional VIZIR face shield, PIXA headlamps, or headlamps with elastic bands that can be attached directly to the helmet.
Because it does not have side vents, the VERTEX BEST helmet can get warm while you are doing some types of work in a warm environment. If your work allows you to have a ventilated helmet, the VERTEX VENT is recommended.
VERTEX Vent: Why We Recommend It
This helmet is well-ventilated, with optional shutters to give you a certain degree of control in various weather conditions. It meets the requirements of the EN 397 and EN 12492 standards for protection against impact, as well the requirements of the EN 397 standard for lateral deformation and the use in low temperatures. The VERTEX VENT Helmet is ideal for rope access, confined spaces, technical, on-site, rescue jobs, framing, roofing, and tree care.
Watch this video to compare pros and cons of wearing these two styles of helmets.
Our safety experts are here to help you with finding the proper protective solution for your application. Call us at 800-829-9580, or visit us online at pksafety.com. Follow us on Twitter: @PKSafetydotcom.