Helmets & Hard Hats

Helmets & Hard Hats

When it comes to head protection, our vast selection of helmets and hard hats include models that meet or exceed ANSI Z89.1-1986, Class A & B standards, and ANSI Z89.1-1997 Class G & E standards, including dielectric. Stay cool wearing vented hard hats and stock up on hard hat accessories like hard hat liners, hard hat sun shades, and hard hat visors. We stock headgear from popular brands including 3M, CMC Rescue, MSA, Oberon, Occunomix, Petzl, PIP, and Pyramex. Keep your head safe on the job with the proper head protection.


Frequently Asked Questions:

How long are hard hats good for?

Most hard hats don’t come with a set expiration date, but industry experts agree that hard hats usually last around five years. After this period, the hard hat may no longer offer suitable protection from falling hazards. Always follow  manufacturer guidelines to determine exactly how long these helmets should last. The helmet may degrade faster if you fail to maintain it properly. Store the helmet in a dry room temperature location away from sunlight (to protect it from UV damage when not in use) to keep it safe for years on end. 

How often should hard hats be inspected?

You should inspect your hard hat or helmet before and after every shift. Your safety gear might get worn down over time, so it’s best to address these issues as they arise. If the lining is coming undone, the helmet appears cracked, or the hat no longer fits properly, the item should be further inspected, repaired, or taken out of service.

What are hard hats made of?

Since hard hats are intended to protect your head from impacts, most hard hats are made of durable materials like high-density polyethylene (HDPE), but some are also made of fiberglass or resin-impregnated textiles. They also come with built-in suspension systems made of strips of woven nylon webbing and bands of molded HDPE, nylon, or vinyl. The suspension is designed to distribute the weight of the force of a falling object over a broad surface area to lessen the damage of collision. Some helmets incorporate a liner that is typically made of foam or expanded polystyrene (EPS) to help soften the impact.

Additional workwear, like hard hat accessories such as visors, helmet adaptors, face shields, and shades may be made of different materials, such as plastic, vinyl, foam-backed cotton terry cloth, and special fibers for wicking moisture and absorbing perspiration.

How often should you replace your hard hat?

It’s best to replace your hard hat or helmet every five years to ensure you have adequate protection in the field. This equipment will continue to lose efficacy over time, especially if you wear the hat five days a week for work. The better you maintain your safety gear, the longer it will last. 

You shouldn’t wait five years to replace your helmet or hard hat if the condition warrants it. Inspect your hard hat or helmet regularly for damage to see if it needs to be replaced before the five-year mark.

If the helmet was involved in an accident or was hit with a falling object, replace it and take it out of service right away. Do not continue using the same equipment after the incident occurs.

Which hard hat class protects against falling objects?

Hard hats and helmets come in different classes and types to account for the different types of hazards in the workplace. Choose head protection based on the nature of the job and the kind of hazards your workers are likely to encounter in the field. 

Types of Hard Hats and Helmets

The type refers to the level of head protection from impacts, like only vertical or vertical and angled.

ANSI Type I: This type of helmet reduces the force of impact resulting from a blow only to the top of the head.

ANSI Type II: This type offers additional head protection. It reduces the force of lateral impact resulting from a blow that may be received off center, from the side, or to the top of the head. 

Classes of Hard Hats and Helmets

The class refers to the different levels of protection from electricity, like high voltage, low voltage, or none.

Class E: These helmets are best suited for those working around electricity. The “E” stands for electrical. They are rated for 20,000 volts.

Class G: These helmets offer general protection from electrical currents, with the “G” standing for general. They are rated for 2,200 volts.

Class C: These helmets are conducive to electricity, with the “C” standing for conducive. They do not offer protection against electricity. 

If you are looking for maximum protection against falling objects, it’s best to go with an ANSI Type II helmet. These helmets meet the minimum standards laid out by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). The helmet will provide additional protection if the worker is struck by a falling object from the side. The worksite can be anything but predictable. Objects may strike workers from different angles, so be sure to protect them from all sides.

Hard Hat vs. Helmet

Hard hats and helmets are considered safe and effective when it comes to protecting workers from falling objects on the job. However, many teams and employers are moving away from hard hats as the industry continues to embrace the use of helmets in the workplace. 

A hard hat is a hard shell that covers the head of the worker. It’s designed to protect the wearer from falling objects and excessive heat. A hard hat does not come with a chin strap, so it can fall off your head if you were to bend over, reach down, or move your body in different positions.

A helmet comes with a chin strap, keeping it secure on the wearer’s head. They are designed to protect workers from a variety of hazards, such as those working in tunnels, manholes, or on elevated surfaces. 

When choosing a helmet, you can purchase those with a non-releasing chin strap to make sure the helmet does not fall off. However, you may prefer a helmet with an automatic release to prevent strangulation when working on elevated surfaces.

Regardless of what type of safety gear you choose, the equipment should properly fit the person’s head, so they don’t have to worry about the helmet or hat falling off. The hat or helmet should come with an adjustable insert or chin strap for securing it to the person’s head. This is especially important when working on elevated surfaces. If a person falls, the helmet should stay attached to help prevent or reduce a head injury. 

You should also consider the color and design of your helmet. Use a hard hat sun shade or attachable hard hat visor to reduce the glare of the sun. Vented hard hats are designed with vents that allow air to pass through, so moisture can dry naturally. You can also purchase a hard hat fan to help beat the heat. Choose a helmet with bold colors to increase visibility in the field. You can also attach reflective tape or hard hat stickers to your equipment to help it stand out.

You will find everything you need to protect your workers in the field at PK Safety. If you need help choosing a safety helmet for your team, contact one of our safety professionals for more information.