October 2017

Construction Hat: What Elements Should You Check Before Choosing?

A construction hat – or hard hat – is an essential safety element for people who work on construction sites. Certain industries also require their employees to wear hard hats. Essential for protecting the head, the hard hat must satisfy different criteria. What elements should you check before choosing a construction hat?

What the Law Says

In Canada, all employees in workplaces where there’s a risk of injury to the head must wear a hard hat. This is particularly the case on construction sites.

A comprehensive safety program must be implemented by the company, including training for workers as well as the selection, adjustment, maintenance, and inspection of the equipment.

CSA Standards

The hard hat is chosen according to the task and the applicable regulations in the region where the site is located. Workers on Canadian construction sites must wear hard hats that meet the standards of the Canadian Standards Association (CSA): the approved models can be recognized by the presence of the organization’s logo on the hats.

The Risks of Impacts on Construction Sites

When it comes to impact resistance, there are two types of hard hats:

  • Type-1 hard hats, which have successfully passed resistance tests for impacts occurring at the top of the head. These are the hats that have been worn on construction sites for decades.
  • Type-2 hard hats, which have successfully passed the same tests, in addition to other tests with impacts occurring on the side of the head this time. These models are equipped with a styrofoam shell inside. They provide better protection to the head and must be used on all construction sites where there’s a risk of side impacts.

Construction Sites with Electrical Hazards

On construction sites with a potential for electric shocks, two groups of hard hats may be suitable:

  • Group-E hard hats, which have resisted electric shocks up to 20,000 V, and
  • Group-G hard hats, which have resisted electric shocks up to 2,200 V.

When a hard hat belongs to Group C, it absolutely does not protect against electric shocks and must not be worn by a worker who is at risk of electric shocks.

Accessories for the Hats

Depending on the situation, certain accessories can be attached to the hat, provided that you don’t have to make a hole in it, since this could alter its level of mechanical or electrical protection. Among the most common accessories are:

  • noise-reducing shells
  • reflective strips
  • visors to protect the eyes and face
  • absorbent strips to wipe away sweat
  • inner linings to insulate from the cold
  • outer linings to insulate from the cold.

Some hard hat models are more comfortable than others around the edges of the head. This is the case for the miner’s helmet, which offers better protection in both bright sun and rainy weather.

A construction hat must meet the locally applicable standards and protect the worker on the construction site. The type and group of the hat are assessed based on the risks involved, and accessories can be attached to improve the comfort level.