What’s your safety color code?
Dec 01, 2021
Did you know that a safety helmet has a color code?
The safety itself
When picturing a safety helmet, you may think rescue workers or outdoor sports, like rock climbing, skiing, cycling and even kayaking. These helmets typically attach more closely to the head with built-in chin straps and have little to no brim around the edge. Their overall profile on the head is smaller.
Safety helmets have more safety elements, which is why they are preferred by athletes in dangerous sports and rescue workers in hazardous situations. Inside the helmet, there is protective padding and chin straps that keep the helmet securely on the head.
When Does OSHA Require Hard Hats?
OSHA regulations mandate specific requirements for head protection in the workplace. As with many OSHA standards, these rules incorporate standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). OSHA provides the regulations to follow, and ANSI provides the means to follow those regulations.
One standard that governs hard hat requirements for construction is “29 CFR 1926.100 ” refers to head protection requirements for construction, demolition, and renovation workers
This standard requires workers to wear hard hats when there is a potential for head injury from “impacts, falling or flying objects, or electrical shock.”
This means that employers must provide hard hats and ensure that employees wear protective coverings in the following situations:
- When objects or debris might fall from above and strike workers on the head
- When employees may strike their heads against fixed objects, like supports, beams, or other equipment
- When there is the possibility that workers’ heads will make contact with electrical hazards
In all cases, hard hats must meet OSHA head protection requirements.
Protection provided by safety Helmets
Safety helmets do not protect only against falling objects, but some offer an increased protection from impacts to the side and back of the head.
Type II helmets and hard hats are designed to minimize lateral impacts to the head, either from off-center, from the side or to the top of the head. For example, a blow to the head resulting from the sharp end of a side beam or I-beam.
In addition, chinstraps can provide increased safety during falls, trips and slips by keeping helmets or hard hats in place.
- The most common color scheme is white for managers, architects, engineers, foremen, or supervisors.
- Brown fiberglass hard hats are worn by welders and other workers for high heat applications.
- Yellow is the color for general laborers and earth-moving operators.
- Blue hard hat: Carpenters and other technical operators including electricians.
- Orange is worn by road crews.
- Green often signifies a safety inspector but can also be used by new workers on the site or probationary staff.
Type and Class : What Are the Different ANSI Hard Hat Categories?
All head protection is assigned a "Type" and a "Class." The type refers to the level of protection from an impact, while the class refers to the different levels of protection from electricity.
- ANSI Type I Helmets are designed to reduce force as a result of impact to the top of the head
- ANSI Type II Helmets are designed to reduce force as a result of impact to the sides or top of the head
The three classes of head protection include:
- Class E (electrical) provides protection to withstand 20,000 volts
- Class G (general) provides protection to withstand 2,200 volts
- Class C (conductive) does not provide protection from electricity
A Type 1, Class C hard hat would be the standard worn by a construction worker not exposed to electrical hazards; a standard safety helmet would be categorized as Class C.
On the vast majority of the construction site, the danger is real so wearing hard hats are necessary.
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