Best Hard Hats for 2022 With Guide

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has strict requirements that must be met to ensure employers and employees are compliant and most importantly safe. This blog post will go over these OSHA rules as well as what types of hats are available for different purposes and who should use them. Read more to find out what you should know about this important piece of equipment.

 In this article we’ll explore the three classes of hats: Class C,G, and E. We’ll discuss what makes them different from one another so that you can find the best option for your specific operation. We will also go over the different features and options hard hats offer as well as important information about the proper use of your head gear. Each type has its own set of advantages and disadvantages, so it is important to know what you need before you buy one.

 

ANSI Standard

According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) employers shall provide each employee who is exposed to head injury hazards with a hard hat, which complies with ANSI Z89.1-2009 or later, “when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.” In addition, a hard hat must also be worn in working areas where there is the risk of exposure to electrical conductors that can potentially contact the head. 

What are the Electrical Classes of Hard Hats?

There are three classes of hard hats: C, G and E. Class C (Conductive) hard hats do not provide any protection from electrical conductors but still protect the head from injury. This class of hard hat can also be vented for additional comfort when heat is a factor. Class G (General) hard hats are designed for low-voltage conductors and offer protection up to 2,200 volts. This voltage protection only applies to the head and not the rest of the body. Class G hard hats are the most widely used and sold hard hats in the industry. Class E or (Electrical) hard hats offer 20,000 volts of protection which also applies to the head but not the body as a whole. Class E hard hats are used by workers who are exposed to electrical environments on a daily basis.  These hard hats cannot be vented.

 

What is Hard Hat Type?

Hard hats come in two types: I and II. Type I hard hats protect the head from the top. Type IIhard hats protect the head from side, lateral, off-center impacts as well as on top.  Type I hard hats are the most commonly sold and required on job sites. Type II hard hats are not used as often and would be specifically required. To give you an idea of how common type I hard hats are to type II, one of the leading ppe manufactures list 43 type I hard hats but only 10 type II hard hats. The main difference in a type II hard hat is a high density EPS (expanded polystyrene) liner. Almost like a helmet inside a helmet, this liner helps with impacts around the whole head. Click here to see the our hard hat types video.

 

Size and Adjustment

Hard hats should fit comfortably and snug on the head. Some hard hats come with optional chin straps to make sure they stay in place. Adjustments can be made to make for a custom fit for the user. There are two ways hard hats are adjustable, either with a ratcheting knob or pinlock suspension. Your hard hat should fit snug around your head and against the occipital bone. The occipital bone is the bone at the back of the head. This is where the adjustment knob will be as well. 

Expiration Date

Most hard hat manufacturers suggest replacing your hard hat every 5 years, even if it looks new. Every hard hat has a date of manufacture that tells the user when it was made. One dial indicates the year, the other the month. In this example the dials point to “20”for the year 2020 and “9” for September hence, the hard hat should be taken out of service on or before September of 2025. If the hard hat ever takes an impact its best to discard the hard hat regardless of how long its been used. Extreme conditions may also limit the longevity of the hard hat and should be taken into consideration as well. 

What is brim style in a hard hat?

Hard hats offer many features that help in the functionality and comfort when in use. One of the most common is brim style. The brim is the outer edge of the hard hat. There are two types of brim styles, full brim and cap style or short brim. Each one offers different benefits. Full brim hard hats offer more protection because of the extended edge. Cap style or short brim hard hats are preferred when visibility is important. 

Functionality

Hard hats usually have a 6-point, 4-point or slip-ratchet suspension system underneath that aids in absorption should an impact occur.  The ratchet system also allows for a secure fit for many head sizes. Some hard hats come with a chin strap which is important when working overhead or when heavy winds are present. Most hard hats have universal accessory slots that come in handy. Some accessories are for safety others for convenience.  Click here to see our hard hat accessories video. For visibility, reflective tape can be applied as well as a lamp attachment. There are two main styles of hard hats. Short brim (or cap style) and full brim. The style used depends on each companies safety program and isn’t standardized by OSHA, although full brim hard hats are used more frequently. 

Comfort

Hard hats are vented or non-vented depending on the class. Class E hard hats cannot be vented as stated earlier but G and C can. Staying cool is important and could be the difference of someone keeping their hard hat on or taking it off.  Shade attachments are also available as an accessory to help with heat.  Some hard hats even have designing that channels water away from the front of the hard hat. 

Materials

The first hard hats ever used were regular hats smeared with tar and hardened by the sun. Today hard hats are made from various materials each with their benefits. Most hard hats are made of high-density polyethylene (HDPE). Other materials include but are not limited to carbon fiber, fiber reinforced resin, phenolic and polycarbonate. Knowing the different features and benefits hard hats offer will help you select the right type of hard hat for your needs. But the right PPE is still second to having a safety-conscious attitude. Let Purvis Industries help you in supplying PPE and hard hats to your businesses; contact us today if you need assistance getting started or have any questions about our products! 

Can a hard hat be worn backwards?

Only hard hats that have been approved to be worn backwards. 

Bump Caps

When an impact-rated hard hat is not required but some head protection is still desired, bump caps are used. Bump caps are just what it implies, when you might be prone to very light contact where a hard hat is not required. 

1. Pyramex Ridgeline HP54117V

Full brim hard hat with a matte black graphite pattern, hydro-dipped. Replaceable soft brow pad. Meets ANSI Z89.1, CSA Z94.1-20.

  • Class: Class C
  • Suspension: 4 point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Vented
  • Material: ABS Material
  • Weight: 10.6 Ounces
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Can be converted to a 6-Point Suspension. Great value for price. 


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2. Klein Tools 60346

Stylish, modern hydro-dipped KARBIN pattern hard hat. tested up to 20kV hard hat meets ANSI A89.1-2014, CSA Z94.1-15

  • Class: Class E
  • Suspension: 4-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: NON-Vented
  • Material: PC/ABS Composite
  • Weight: 1.34 lbs
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Comes with a rechargeable lamp. Great for electricians or those in need of a Class E hard hat. 


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3. 3M H-701R

Lightweight, cap style  hard hat. Reduces pressure points. Meets requirements of ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009 Type 1, Class C, G and E

  • Class: Class G and E
  • Suspension: 4-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: NON-Vented
  • Material: Polyethylene
  • Weight: 12.8 oz
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Can be work backwards. Best option for those looking for an economical solution. 


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4. Evolution Deluxe 6161

The Evolution Deluxe 6161 has a great design and includes a great suspension system.

  • Class: Class C
  • Suspension: 6-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Vented
  • Material: HDPE
  • Weight: 8 oz.
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Great design and very lightweight.


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5. PYRAMEX RIDGELINE HP44117V

If your looking for a quality hard hat that looks great and offers great visibility with the option to use accessories the Pyramex Ridgeline HP44117V is a great option.

  • Class: Class C
  • Suspension: 4-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Vented
  • Material: ABS
  • Weight: 10.6 oz.
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Low Profile hard hat offers low center of gravity. 


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6. Honeywell Fibre-Metal E1RW

The Honeywell Fibre Metal is one of the most popular options in the industry.

  • Class: Class E
  • Suspension: 8-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Non-Vented
  • Material: Fiberglass
  • Weight: 6.9 oz.
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Minimalist design and good suspension but no slots for accessories.


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7. MSA SKULLGARD 475407

MSA is a leader in high quality head protection. the MSA Skullgard is made for durability and strength. It can be used in welding, construction, open-pit mining, oil and gas, and rubber manufacturing. It is also reversible. It comes in a variety of colors and suspension options. This hard hat is a great choice for industrial professionals.

  • Class: Class G
  • Suspension: 4-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Non-Vented
  • Material: Phenolic
  • Weight: 13.6 oz.
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Reversible, durable hard hat for industrial professionals. No slots for accessories though.


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8. Lift Safety HDF-15NG

Lift offers top of the line hard hats with great features. Out of all the hard hat manufactures Lift has the best suspension system with a great ratchet system, comfort dome and brow pad unmatched with any other hard hat brand in this review.

  • Class: Class G
  • Suspension: 6-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Non-Vented
  • Material: Fiber Reinforced Resin
  • Weight: 17 oz.
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Best suspension system in this list. No slots for accessories though. 


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9. Lift Safety HDFC-17NG

This hard hat offers superior comfort and impact protection. The 6-point suspension system is the best out of all other hard hats in this review.

  • Class: Class G
  • Suspension: 6-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Non-Vented
  • Material: Fiber Reinforced Resin
  • Weight: 14.8 oz.
  • Key Features/Takeaway: This is a great hat to invest in. Its a premium option but is certainly worth it.


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10. Acerpal 1CF20WH4M

The Acerpal 1CF20EH4M hard hat offers reliable protection on any jobsite. It has a modern design and comes in many colors and hydro dipped options. 

  • Class: Class G
  • Suspension: 4-point ratchet suspension
  • Vented: Non-Vented
  • Material: ABS
  • Weight: 13.7 oz.
  • Key Features/Takeaway: Comes in multiple colors and patterns.


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