The head is a vulnerable part of the body. When you damage your head, it can have fatal consequences. In many work areas, there is a risk of head damage, not only because of falling objects, but also hitting and chafing, hot metal spatter, chemicals or voltage arc. The right protection can head off those risks.
Do you work in construction, in green or in the offshore? Each type of work requires specific protection. You can select the correct head protection based on the hazards.
On this page we list the advantages and disadvantages of different types. For more background information, please contact our PPE advisers.
Bump caps are recognizable as baseball caps. They protect against non-moving objects. For suspended or moving objects, safety helmets should be used. When in doubt, go with the safety helmet.
Bump caps in our shop
Officially, these are called industrial safety helmets. They protect against more risks than bump caps. Safety helmets are used a lot in construction, maintenance, the petrochemical industry and in locations where cranes are used, like construction sites or ports.
Industrial helmets in our shop
We see more and more people using climbing helmets in work areas. That is because they are more comfortable to wear. The main difference with industrial safety helmets is that they have a standard chin strap, which does not release until 500 Newton. As a result, climbing helmets cannot be certified according to the EN 397 and vice versa. So make sure to get proper advice when considering the use of a climbing helmet!
Climbing helmets in our shop
Other types if head protection:
- Hair net: in some sectors, hair nets are mandatory, for instance in the food sector, for the sake of hygiene. But also to make sure hair is not caught in moving parts.
- Caps: To protect the head against the cold.
- Hoods: To protect against liquids and cold.
- Welding caps: To protect against weld spatter
- Monk hoods: To protect against weld spatter
Sometimes, a combination of different types of head protection is desirable. For instance a safety helmet + ear muffs or a welding helmet + monk hood.
How to create comfortabilityHelmets can be relatively uncomfortable, which is why that is an important issue. Head bands have to be designed as ergonomically as possible, to distribute the pressure points as comfortably as possible. If a helmet hurts, people won’t wear it.
There are helmets available with ventilation gaps, to promote the air ventilation inside the helmet and reduce sweating. In addition, special sweat bands are available, to make the helmets more comfortable.
Options for personalization / company style
- In the case stickers are used, it is important to use special paint and glue, so as not to affect the integrity of the helmet.
- Tampon printing is only possible with larger numbers of helmets, because it is a mechanical process and setting up the machine is so expensive that it is not an interesting process for smaller numbers of helmets.
- Stickers are preordered an kept in stock. When a new helmet is ordered, the sticker is applied and delivered.
MaintenanceBy properly maintaining the helmet, you can prolong its lifespan. Clean it with lukewarm water and a soft cloth. Don’t use solvents or abrasives. In most helmets, the sweat bands and interior parts can be replaced. If you are not able to clean the helmet, that often means it should be replaced.
The life span of the helmet depends on the material being used in making the helmet. Usually, safety helmets are made from thermoplastics and duroplasts. Thermoplastics are plastics that can be shaped in liquid form, at certain temperatures. Duroplasts, on the other hand, are plastics that are hardened under high pressure. This is chemical reaction in which the synthetic substance attains its ultimate hardness.
- Generally good chemical resistance
- Less resistant to UV than duroplasts
- Less resistant to heat than duroplasts
- Relatively sensitive to ‘aging’
- Reasonable to good resistance to cold
- Are chemically resistant across a wide area
- Have a good UV resistance (welding)
- Are excellent when it comes to heat resistance
The Labor Inspection uses a maximum life span for:
- Helmets made from polyethylene (thermoplastics): 3 years, after production date
- Helmets made from ABS (thermoplastics): 5 years, after production date
- Glass fiber reinforced polyester (duroplasts): 10 years, after production date
The manufacturer puts the production date in the helmet shell. The best thing is to store the helmet in a dry, dark, cool location. If you put the helmet in (direct) sunlight, the material from which it is made will age faster. Always read the instructions provided by the manufacturer, in which the manufacturer has to indicate how the life span can be determined.
AdviceCan't figure it out? Please call me for additional advice. It is important that you make a safe choice!
Maurits - Operational PPE-adviser
+31 184 434 455 firstname.lastname@example.org