What is an OSHA approved Safety Helmet or Hard Hat?

What is an OSHA approved Safety Helmet or Hard Hat?

The most important piece of safety equipment on a construction site is your head protection. Falling objects and head injuries are among the most common found in the construction industry.

OSHA, Occupational Safety and Health Standards has set requirements of what type of head protection is approved on a construction site. 

According to their laws:

910.135(a)
General requirements.
1910.135(a)(1)
The employer shall ensure that each affected employee wears a protective helmet when working in areas where there is a potential for injury to the head from falling objects.
1910.135(a)(2)
The employer shall ensure that a protective helmet designed to reduce electrical shock hazard is worn by each such affected employee when near exposed electrical conductors which could contact the head.
1910.135(b)
Criteria for head protection.
1910.135(b)(1)
Criteria for head protection. (1) Head protection must comply with any of the following consensus standards:
1910.135(b)(1)(i)

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1-2009, "American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection," incorporated by reference in Sec. 1910.6;

1910.135(b)(1)(ii)

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1-2003, "American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection," incorporated by reference in Sec. 1910.6; or

1910.135(b)(1)(iii)

American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1-1997, "American National Standard for Personnel Protection--Protective Headwear for Industrial Workers--Requirements," incorporated by reference in Sec. 1910.6.

1910.135(b)(2)
Head protection devices that the employer demonstrates are at least as effective as head protection devices that are constructed in accordance with one of the above consensus standards will be deemed to be in compliance with the requirements of this section. 
This ultimately means that the hard hat or safety helmet MUST meet the testing standards of ANSI, specifically Z89.1. This must be displayed somewhere in or on the hard hat with the manufacturer, date of manufacturer and model number/
There are multiple classes and types of hard hats and safety helmets:
  • Class G (General) hard hats are rated for 2,200 volts
  • Class E (Electrical) hard hats are rated for 20,000 volts
  • Class C (Conductive) hard hats do not offer electrical protection
  • Type I offers protection to the top of the head and is commonly used in the United States
  • Type II offers protection to the top and sides of the head and is commonly used in Europe

Defender Safety Helmets/Hard Hats are ANSI Z89.1 and OSHA approved to be worn on all job-sites in the United States!