Head Protection

A Beginner’s Guide to ANSI Z89.1

A Beginner’s Guide to ANSI Z89.1 - Defender Safety

The brain is one of the most important organs within the human body. Head injuries from falling objects or electricity often have serious effects, which can be deadly. Helmets are essential for maintaining safe and standard procedures on any job site. But how do you know what to look for in a safety helmet? 

The American National Standards Institute’s (ANSI) regulations guarantee the safety and quality of helmets. The helmets at Defender Safety are designed to fit these limits and simultaneously provide an easy and comfortable user experience.

What is OSHA? What are their helmet requirements?

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) is an agency within the United States Department of Labor. The intent of OSHA is to secure safe workplace conditions by establishing standards and providing education.

OSHA regulations mandate that general industry and construction workers must wear a helmet when exposed to 

  • Falling objects
  • Electrical hazards 
  • Burns
  • Low-hanging objects 

In addition to these standards, OSHA requires that construction organizations follow the guidelines that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) provides. That is, OSHA gives general rules for helmets, and the ANSI Z89.1 gives precise requirements needed to comply with OSHA.

What is ANSI Z89.1?

The American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection (ANSI Z89.1-2014) describes performance and testing conditions for safety helmets. The document also sets types and classes of helmets based on possible dangers. OSHA allows helmets that follow the 2009, 2003, and 1997 editions of the ANSI Z89.1. However, if the job exposes employees to risks only mentioned in the 2014 version, older products may not comply.

What are the types and classes of helmets?

Helmet Types

There are two types of helmets defined by the ANSI Z89.1-2014. The type refers to the level of impact and penetration defense.

  • Type I helmets reduce the force of an impact at the top of the head. 
  • Type II helmets reduce the force of an impact at the top, front, back, and sides of the head.

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