Are you up-to-date with current ANSI standards for hard hats? If not, you need to, because product-testing procedures change and improved designs are introduced. This is the fifth revision of the standard that provides performance and testing requirements for hard hats. In 2003, ANSI revised the Z89.1-1997 standard. The changes were made according to national standards that test and evaluate the performance of head protection equipment. In an effort to recognize state-of-the-art materials, performance and technology, physical requirements for hard hat components that did not provide added user value, or limited design or performance were removed.
Hard hats meeting the requirements of the 2003 standard are classified in two types: Type I for protection from blows to the top of the head or Type II for protection from blows to top/sides of the head. Both types are tested for impact reduction and penetration resistance. Type II helmet performance requirements include criteria for impact reduction from the front, back and sides as well as the top, off-center penetration resistance, and chin strap retention.
The current ANSI standard is ANSI Z89.1-2003:
- Type I Protection from blows to top of head
- Type II Protection from blows to top/sides of head
- Class E (electrical) tested to withstand 20,000 volts;
- Class G (general) tested at 2,200 volts; and
- Class C (conductive) provides no electrical protection.
Additional ANSI hard hat compliance standards are they must include date of manufacture along with the manufacturer’s name, sizing instructions, and guidelines for care and service, and the ANSI legend and class description. Make sure you stay up-to-date with ANSI standards to improve your safety. A final point of reference is, remember that hard hats are not guaranteed to be entirely impact resistant. They are designed to reduce the risk of head injury. Remember to wear your hard hat and be safe.