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The Safety Brief In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews
and insights into how contractors and safety managers
can be even more effective in protecting their workers.
In our podcasts we give short but valuable overviews and insights into how contractors and safety managers can be even more effective in protecting their workers.

Hard Hat Selection And Care

Hard hat selection and care is critical to safety. It’s your brain. Keep it in a good bucket. Hear about the Types and Classes of safety helmets and hard hats in this podcast.

Dan Clark describes Type I and Type II, and how they are designed for impacts from the top and side.

Also hear about varying degrees of electrical shock protection in the three Classes of safety helmets.

Dan also lists maintenance DOs and DON’Ts.


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Hard_Hat_Selection_And_Care-Creative_Safety_Supply-250x250Dan Clark: The Brain Bucket. The Coconut Protector. The Skullcap. No matter what you call it, it’s a hard hat. Let’s discuss the selection, and care and feeding of your protective helmet.

Hello, I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief. This is where we talk about health and safety hazards in today’s demanding industrial and construction worksites.

A hard hat is a type of helmet to protect your noggin. OSHA says it’s an employer’s responsibility to provide one if there is a risk of falling objects or electrical shock. So, like with most PPE, hard hats aren’t one-size-fits-all. There are Types and Classes of this head protection.

TYPES: All about impacts.

Type I Hard Hats. They only protect your dome against top impacts—say, bumping your head or falling objects.

Type II Hard Hats. These can withstand impacts from the top and sides. If you have a coworker that’s constantly smacking you upside the head with a 2 x 4, this is the hard hat for you.

CLASSES: These are all about electrical shock protection.

Class C – Conductive. This does not protect from electrical hazards.

Class G – General. This can withstand up to 2200 V.

Class E – Electrical. This can protect your gray matter up to 20,000 V.

So, you have selections of Types and Classes in various combinations.

Here are some things to do for hard hat selection and care:

+ Choose a hard hat made from the right material—usually plastic, but sometimes fiberglass or aluminum.

+ Choose a hard hat with the right features for your workplace. You may need built-in ventilation or extra padding.

+ Clean your hard hat with just soap and water.

+ Replace the interior suspension every year.

+ Replace the whole hard hat every two to five years, depending on what the manufacturer says.

+ Retire a hard hat that’s sustained an impact, even if damage isn’t visible.

+ If you wear a bandanna or welder’s cap, wear it flat against your head.

Here are some things you don’t want to do with a hard hat:

– Don’t leave it out in the sun. If it’s plastic or fiberglass, UV rays can damage it.

– Don’t paint it. Chemicals can weaken the shell and change its conductivity.

– Don’t use harsh cleaners on the hard hat.

– Don’t drill holes in it for ventilation or anything else. It weakens it.

– Don’t wear a baseball cap under the hard hat.

– Don’t put anything, like a wallet, between your helmet suspension and your head. It is not a storage space.

– Don’t put stickers on the hard hat. They can hide cracks, and, near the edge, could act as electrical conductors.

That’s it for this episode on Hard Hat Selection And Care. Come back for more tips and techniques on how to stay safety compliant in today’s ever-changing landscape of safety requirements. I’m Dan Clark of The Safety Brief, sponsored by Creative Safety Supply. See the website at


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