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May 10, 2021
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Types and Classes

Hardhats protect workers from falling debris and contact with fixed objects such as beams, low ceilings, supports, etc. Certain classes of hardhats also can protect workers from electrical hazards.

There are two types of hardhats:

  • Type 1 hardhats offer protection to the top of the head.
  • Type 2 hardhats offer protection to the top and sides of the head.

There are three additional classes of hardhats based on the level of electrical protection they provide:

  • Class G (general) hardhats are rated for 2,200 volts.
  • Class E (electrical) hardhats are rated for 20,000 volts.
  • Class C (conductive) hardhats do not offer any electrical protection.


Hard hats should be inspected before each day’s use. Inspect the:

  • Shell for cracks, dents, and deep cuts.
  • Suspension for frayed straps, cracks, or tears in the plastic.

If you identify any of these conditions, replace the shell, suspension, or entire hardhat immediately.

Things to remember:

  • Never store items between the hardhat suspension and the shell. This can affect the impact protection capabilities of the equipment.
  • Avoid storing hardhats in areas with prolonged exposure to sunlight, which can degrade most plastic shells.
  • Never use paints, solvents, chemicals, adhesives, or similar substances that can damage the hardhat’s shell.
  • Make sure your hardhat fits securely and adjust the suspension for a snug fit.
  • Never alter or modify the hardhat shell or components. This limits the unit’s protective properties.


Source: Joe Mlynek is president of Progressive Safety Services LLC, Gates Mills, OH:, and content creation expert for Safety Made Simple Inc., Olathe, KS;



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Safety Tip of the Week is edited by Managing Editor Tucker Scharfenberg and published each Monday by Grain Journal, Decatur, IL

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