Do I Need a Hard Hat or Bump Cap?

This is a popular question asked by many people. Before addressing that question, you need to know the difference between a hard hat and a bump cap. The most significant difference between the two types of head protection is bump caps are not regulated, whereas hard hats are ANSI compliant and OSHA required.

Bump Caps

Bump Cap

Bump caps have a seamless one-piece design made of either LDPE (low-density polyethylene) or plastic. This type of head protection is designed with a lightweight shell and no suspension system. The purpose of bump caps is to provide head protection from bumps and minor injuries in an area that has low head clearance or low-hanging machinery. A bump cap is ideal for several work environments including automotive repair, food processing, meter reading, truck drivers, maintenance departments, and pest control.

Hard Hats

Decal Hard Hat

Hard hats are another choice in head protection consisting of a hard shell made of HDPE (high-density polyethylene), plastic, nylon, or lightweight thermoplastic resins. Inside is a hard hat suspension system made of plastic, nylon, or a combination of the two materials. Hard hats are ideal for use in workplace environments where head injuries can occur from falling objects and other debris such as construction sites, climbing utility poles, and logging.

All you need to do now is figure out your risk level for head injury. Are you working in an environment with low head clearance? If so, then a bump cap is a good head protection option for you. Are you working in an environment with a risk of objects falling on your head? If so, then a hard hat is an ideal option for you. Get your head protection and get to work.

6 thoughts on “Do I Need a Hard Hat or Bump Cap?

Add yours

  1. Hi Kay,
    As far as I know, there are no peakless bump caps, but I was thinking that you might be interested in our Bump Cap Inserts for Baseball Caps. If you got a few of these inserts, you guys could just wear your baseball caps backwards. Let me know what you think.

    Thanks for writing!


  2. I have had a skullgard ball cap for many years and need a new suspension. When I order they always send the wrong one. The problem is my hat has 4 metal buttons inside that attache the suspension with a spring clip. An older style maybe. The ones you send are made for slots that are built into the hat.Where can I get the clip style? I’d like to wear this thing my last day. thank you Geezer

  3. Hi, I am a Union President and really am looking for a simple answer. When it comes to safety is there really any difference between a bump cap and and insert? Neither is OSHA or ANCI approved. So I figured there is no harm in either being issued. I believe they are doing so for show….being if they wanted true protection they’d go for something that was safety approved. Your reply is greatly appreciated. Thank you for your time.

  4. I work on aircraft and frequentle work in areas where I am always looking up with a headlamp and ear muffs for hearing. The bump cap will fall off my head with all this equipment. I told my employer I would provide my own baseball style bump cap to keep if from falling off. My employer told me to “attach” it to my head so it would not fall off. Sounds dangerous and like a violation of OSHA safety standards. Can anyone steer me in the right direction on this?

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