We earn our living to lead a secure and happy life. That’s why we try to build better civilizations to be accommodated within. We build cities, towers, roads, bridges, industries and so on. All we build these are to make our life easier, happier and safer. But are we maintaining the safety ourselves while we are building or maintaining all these mega-structures? This question is so valuable in our life. Because we are establishing all these stuffs to make our generations benefitted. In that case, personal protection should be our primary priority while we are directly involved in any constructive or innovative work.
Here we are going to tell you why every construction worker wears a lightweight hard hat, why you need to wear it, what are the benefits, etc. In this article, you will learn some necessary, interesting, basic, valuable facts, which may help you to buy a proper and sustainable lightweight hard hat. We are also going to name some selective, popular and trustworthy brands for you, which we have made based on user reviews.
What is a Hard Hat
To define it briefly, a hard hat is kind of a shield that protects the head from a clash with any heavy metal object. We know it as protective equipment that protects the personnel’s head from fatalities while working in any construction area or mining site. It’s always challenging and risky working in a heavily-equipped-mega-structured construction area; be it a bridge, skyscraper, mine, or an underground tunnel. There is a chance of bumping into objects or falling heavy metals. In this case, a lightweight hard hat really can save your life by saving your head. These hats are made of high-density plastic materials. The tough polystyrene and polycarbonate materials jointly make the shell lightweight and resistant to any external falling objects like metals, stones, etc. It’s hard and resistant characteristics save your head from inevitable serious injuries that usually happens in hazardous construction or mining premises.
The interior is filled up with cushioning material that provides shock absorption and comfort to the wearer. The suspension straps keep the hat attached to head tightening around your chin so that you can move without losing the hat.
How Does it Work
Besides covering the head, hard hats have various features to serve a person in many ways. Lightweight hard hat plays a vital role to protect us while we are working in a hazardous environment. Wearing a lightweight hard hat literally saves our head (which is the most important part of our body say life) in other words our life from bumping into heavy walls or from falling metals. Even while you are doing a small maintenance job in your garage, you must take basic protections like wearing a lightweight hard hat that can save from a small but serious injury.
When a professional or worker wears a lightweight hard hat during his/her outdoor or mining work, s/he is secured from the scorching heat of the sun (heat causes stroke) and heavy rainfall (rainwater causes different flues). Some hard hat designs have the brim from front to back so that it can block the direct sunrays to the eyes and helps to see through clearly by keeping the glare blocked. Some brands also design brims wrapped around the hat that let the rain waterfall away and keeps the neck and chest dry. The inner suspension keeps the hat attached to the head by wrapping around the straps. The cushioning is featured inside the hard hat shell to provide comfort.
Types of Hard Hats
A lightweight hard hat is classified by standard organizations into various categories so that wearer can find the best suitable hat to meet the specific demand of his/her work environment. Some construction sites are surrounded by electrical equipment where there is a risk of electrocution coming in contact with your head. Here a specific type of hard hats is advised that keeps the head shielded to avoid electrical shocks.
Another kind of construction site is like buildings, bridges, or mines where there is a risk of falling metallic objects that could cause dangerous injuries even deaths. Here another type of hard hat advised that protects the top of the head. The Occupational Safety & Health Administration (OSHA) is the key organization to classify and approve the quality of safety objects like a lightweight hard hat. The ANSI (American National Standards) also establishes the criteria to be maintained by the manufactures.
Generally, hard hats are categorized into types based on the impact of protection.
- Type I Hard Hat- Standard Hard Hats, Protects top of the head
- Type II Hard Hat- Protects from objects coming around the sides also.
There is another classification that indicates the electrical performances of lightweight hard hats.
General use (Class G) – This type of hard hat protects the head against impact and the electric shock of low voltages. These hats can protect head only up to 2.200 volts that not allow the guarantee of the safety of the wearer’s body. These types of hard hats are usually worn by industrial workers who work under a low voltage system. These hats were categorized as Class A.
Electrical use (Class E) – Besides impact this hard hat type protects the head from high voltage shock. These hat shells are proved to be safe at 20,000 volts. But again they can save only wearers heads when worn. Workers who are involved in utility works in high voltage environments are the common users of class E hard hats formerly known as Class B.
Conductor (Class C) – These types of hard hats are different from the other two because they can only protect against impact. Since these hats are made of aluminum and works as electrical conductors, workers involved in the electrically hazardous environment are strictly advised not to wear these hats. But they can facilitate support from impact and added breathability support. But in modern construction sites, this type of hats are not allowed due to their aluminum structures.
Why Do You Need to Wear a Hard Hat
A lightweight hard hat is another name of life safety which saves us from different ranges of injuries even avoids death! Still, we are going to tell you the reasons you need to wear a lightweight hard hat.
Protects against impact- Engineers and workers usually have to work in heights or a site surrounded by trusses and metal beams. Accidental falling or discarding of metal rods is a common chance in those construction or mining sites. That can lead to unimaginable damage to life. In that case, just a lightweight hard hat can protect from such extreme impacts.
Protects from electrocution- As we mentioned especially Class G and Class E hard hats are manufactured to protect from electric conductors. These two Classes hard hats refer to that they can protect you from electrocution if you wear them during work. If your hard hat unknowingly gets in contacted with any electrical wire of 2,000 volts to 20,000 volts, then you will be safe thanks to the rated hats.
Counters the heat- An engineer or worker usually have to work in a hazardous environment where they might have to work in the open air in summer or rainy days. In these conditions, workers need to save their head from heat and water. Hard hats are well featured to save your head from direct sun rays and rainwater and lets you work with comfort even in the desert.
Top 10 Best Lightweight Hard Hat
Here below, we are going to mention the best lightweight hard hats in the marketplace according to the user reviews.
1. MSA 10079479 V-Gard Slotted Lightweight Hard Hat
The MSA V-Gard is the popular brand, which protects from any vertical implants, especially designed for construction worker for difficult environment. This durable helmet provide ultimate protection, even they are comfortable and lightweight, allow you to wear long time for safety. They are impressive with customizable solution which provide superior comfort and reliability.
The polytechnic shell provides protection, customized fit that assures your safety. They are easily adjustable for secure fit with true radical design. The crown straps offer a comfortable fit because those are made of comfortable materials. Stay safe with this full brim and cap style, for protection of health and safety.
The “V” design ensures comfort, flexibility and durability, perfect for most extreme environment and protect worker with high security. The headband covers forehead and the adjustable straps provide you comfortable and customized fit. It comes with variety of colors and sizes.
2. Venitex Delta Plus Diamond V Baseball Cap Style Safety Helmet Lightweight Hard Hat
This hard hat features suspension system, superior comfort and customized fit which makes it great hard hat. Those are high density polypropylene safety helmets, come with proper suspension, and provides highest protection and comfort. You will like the ultralight and weightless protection. The vertical vision is like as baseball cap.
This durable and comfortable hard hat is made of solid metal, the retroreflective bands for high visibility, this protective helmet are especially designed for industrial use. You will love this innovative baseball shape. The three textile straps are for right fit, the breathable technology keep your head comfortable.
The two headbands are available for customized fit and comfort with innovative button adjustment. You will love this design, it includes 8 fixing points and additional protection and the perfect mixing of style, lightness, and safety. They meet ultimate safety standard, ideal for engineer, construction, industry and many more.
3. Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Lightweight Hard Hat
Pyramex is great with full brim protection, well styled, constructed from ABS materials, seemingly weightless protection. The suspension system is easy to adjust, allow you to modify the fit, give you more secure and comfortable fit. The low profile design of this hard hat ensure customized fit, comfort, durability and highest safety.
The 4 points suspension can be converted to 6 points suspension with textile straps. You can wisely invest on Pyramex for its construction. It is constructed with lightweight ABS materials which is extreme lightweight, you will find it very comfortable for the ultra-lightweight materials. It will give you weightless protection and durability. Safety is necessary, if you are using it for safety than this low profile design is perfect for you.
You will find a combination of performance and protection with this hard hat. This hard hat is 10% lighter than other hat because it is made of ultra-light materials. They are more natural with 4way adjustable harness points for customized fit.
4. HDPE Natural Tan Full Brim Lightweight Hard Hat with Fas-trac Suspension
This is one of the best constructed hard hat, comes with comfortable padding, provide head protection against falling objects. This is the lightest hard hat and give you weightless protection. The hard hat offer sunlight protection, the chin strip gives you a customized fit allow you to wear long hours. This full brim hard hat ensures both protection and comfort.
You will be able to perform your best and you will be safe from any accidental fall or electrical shocks. That hat is considered to OSHA approved and fulfil the OSHA requirements. You will be safe for its excellent electrical protection capability. The durable materials can fight with hardest shocks and impacts. This low profile design keep your head with protected all the time.
The suspension system provide adequate protection, you can assure your safety by this hard hat. The good suspension and the fiber metal make the high quality hard hat for professional use. This hat provide more secure, comfortable and perfect fit.
5. 3M Lightweight Hard Hat, White 4-Point Ratchet Suspension H-701R
3M hard Hat is attractive piece of hardware, includes the band inside, constructed with durable materials. The 4 point suspension system allow you for customizing fit. This ensures your head safety in hazardous work environment, and you will be able to perform your best. Suspension will help you to reduce pressure and increase security.
This nice looking hard hat comes with some features, takes away sweat problem, and works as lifesaver. The profile design offer a better balance and the short brim enhances the visibility. They are truly helpful for hot weather, they also maintain OSHA regulations. You will like the foam padding with full brim protection.
The slots allow for attachment of any accessories. It allow you to use in various purpose like welding, construction, and many more. The proper suspension allow it to stay in position for all the time. This hat is reputed for versatile service. They are combination of high performance and protection with ultra-light materials.
6. Pyramex Safety Products HP14030 Sl Series 4 pt. Snap Lock Suspension Lightweight Hard Hat, Yellow
Pyramex is the most recommended brand, which is built with lightweight materials, provides stability and security. This is wonderful product, strong and secure with ultralight for seeming weightless protection. This durable hat is built for performance and security, it comes with combination of comfort and durability.
You can deliver decent performance for various work environment. It comes with number of features, it is made of sturdy materials. They are made from ABS thermoplastic resin, those are lighter than traditional materials, considered as extreme electrical insulation properties. The low profile design allow comfortable and secure fit.
It is equipped with suspension that offer easy adjustment. The 4 adjustable points allow you to give you perfect fit, a sweatband ensures a comfortable fit. The rear padded suspension is helpful for providing additional comfort, and the lightweight materials offer all day protection and comfort.
7. Fibre-Metal Lightweight Hard Hat E1Rw Black-E1RW11A000
You can wisely invest on this hat if you are construction worker. This is an excellent product for industrial sector. This full brim hard hat features the super impact energy control system to deflect falling objects, the carbon fiber makes it super hard. This is super comfortable and allow to wear for long times. The full brim hard hat is not only hard but also strong and durable.
This hat will give you extra protection and can save you from UV rays, rain and any falling objects. Despite the strength, the comfortable internal padding gives you full day comfort. The thermoplastic materials are heat resistant, and meet all the regulation of ANSI. It comes with stylish design, offer you full day protection.
The advanced suspension system from eight points keep you balanced and make you comfortable during every day wear. The eight point suspension system is easily adjustable and ensure a snug fit and wide range of head sizes give you protection and multiple color options ensure good appearance. That means it can be one of the perfect fit for you.
8. MSA 815562 V-Gard Slotted Full-Brim Protective Lightweight Hard Hat
This lightweight hard hat is made of durable materials, with the proper suspension inside, provide stability and security and the low profile design all of them make this a perfect hard hat. The suspension system is easily adjustable. The polyethylene shell provides extra protection and the crown straps provides a comfortable fit.
That is extremely light you will feel nothing on your head and security from sunlight. The coverage gives you adequate protection, soft brow pad and suspension gives you a comfortable and perfect fit. The V design is gives you durability, comfort and protection. The crown straps ensures a perfect fit and keep you comfortable with softness of suspension.
This hat helps industrial workers by offering superior head protection with comfort, quality and durability. The original MSA V-Gard Helmet are most popular brand for industrial and fire environment. There are three level of strap which gives you a perfect and snug fit.
9. Klein Tools 60407 Lightweight Hard Hat With Light
Klein Tools hard hat is very popular for safety comfort and fit, this hard offers premium protection with number of features. This is strong, ultra-light and easy to adjust with customized fit, reduces pressure and increase security even the additional protection from sun, rain and any falling objects. The unique feature allows you to use comfortably.
The suspension system offers good protection, comfortable suspension provide security, give a perfect fit and protect your head by adjusting a more secure fit. In the front and back you can easily attach headlamp, no need any straps or zip. The adjustable vents meet all of the regulation of ANSI. A flexible open frame is helpful for optimal fit and air circulation.
You will get a sweatband which breathable, moisture wicking, comfortable and machine washable, confirm your day long comfort. The adjustable vents provide maximum air circulation. The large knob Ratchet mechanism can give easy and one handed adjustment. Universal accessory slots will provide you hearing protection, face shield and more.
10. Evolution Deluxe 6161 280-EV6161-10V Full Brim Lightweight Hard Hat with HDPE Shell
Evolution Deluxe is a trusted brand for hard hat, for safety, comfort and style. The ratchet suspension can be adjust easily and allow you to modify fit, reduce pressure and make you comfortable for whole day. The high density polyethylene shell with full brim provide the extreme protection and enhance better visibility. The six point’s suspension system with textile strap provide additional protection, and the sweatband ensures maximum sweat absorption. The full brim ensures the protection from sun, rain or any falling objects. The unique 3D adjustment provide a snug and comfortable fit. This full brim hard hat is comfortable and durable.
This hard hat is ideal for construction work and don’t be tensed for sunny and rainy weather, you will get full protection. The brim make this easier to grab while putting it on taking of it. This hard hat is fully assembled, very easy to adjust, and this strong hard hat can give you the highest protection.
Key Consideration Before Buying a Lightweight Hard Hat
The lightweight hard hat is very important for every industry to defend against possible head injury, it is one of the most dependable safety tools to protect your head. Selecting the best Lightweight hard hat is quite difficult. Some list of factors you can consider before buying a lightweight hard hat as your workplace requires. Here are some factors are more involved in the selection method.
There are different materials in the market but you should consider the lightweight material for more comfort, but do not compromise with the safety issue. Some cheap materials are lightweight but do not provide a high level of protection. Most of the hard hats are made of plastics, ABS plastic is strong enough to give service what you need. And you can choose carbon fiber also, because they are lightweight and tough graded. Carbon fiber is good for the protection of extreme heat.
You must select the materials that are ANSI approved to maintain industrial settings. There are two types of industrial setting, they are TYPE I and Type II. Choosing a hard hat depends on your work environment. You need to analyze the standard to select the appropriate level of protection. Such as Type I for head impact and Type II for lateral impact. Your hard hat should match with your class ratings. Even you should consider the level of electric shocks.
The suspension is the main factor of the selection process when you will buy the hard hat for your specific needs. Two types of suspension you will find. One is pin-lock and another is Ratchet. Pin-lock suspension is similar to a regular belt with a locking mechanism. In a ratchet suspension, you will find a quick ratchet adjusting knob, you just need to turn knob without removing the hard hat.
Another factor you need to check is the suspension point. More suspension points can reduce the risk of injury. The hardest hat comes with four suspension points, try to select 6 or 8 suspension points.
Vents and holes
The sweatband is necessary for a particular environment. They ensure wearing a hard hat is more comfortable by preventing sweat. Appropriate ventilation is useful for preventing sweat. Holes create the environment comfortable otherwise lack of ventilation can make itchiness. Some hard hats offer vent for a cooling environment. The pad keeps sweat off from your eyes. A vented hard hat with a small hole can encourage the airflow and reduce the heat inside.
Size and fit
The size and fit is the most important factor to maintain especially for trainees. Good feet inspire to work faster and enhance performance. It also brings comfort to the wearer. It is important to address the proper fit for potential head protection. Lightweight materials allow you to wear the hard hat longer. User needs to adjust the size for ultimate comfort and highest performance.
A life of hard hat starts when it was made. You will find the ANSI label where the date should be recorded. The date code means the date of manufacture which is stamped inside your hat. Always check the manufactured date because most of them are made of plastic materials. An industrial safety helmet should be used for three years and must replace after three years. The effective life of a hard hat depends on the model and brand.
Care and Maintenance
Taking care of safety tools should be devoted to worker’s responsibility. We will discuss the basic care and maintenance of lightweight hard hats in the following.
- You need to know the manufacturer’s instructions on care and maintenance properly.
- Need to clean your hard hat properly with soap and water, some hard hats are machine washable, and then hang them to get dry.
- You should focus on inspection on the shell, suspension system, sweatband, and other parts of your hard hat, sometimes you can find any hole, cracks, puncture, or other problems.
- The headband is always should be fit well, not be stretched or too tight.
- Keep away from extreme temperature
- You should keep a hard hat in a safe place
- Avoid contact with some cleaning agent or thinner which can damage the shell.
- You should not use any other external tool with a hard hat like safety glass, light, etc.
- Should replace if you observe any noticeable damage.
FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Are aluminum hard hats OSHA approved?
Using Aluminum hard hats are accepted by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration) if your workplace is not electrically hazardous. If they come in contact with any energized circuit it would be unsafe. Because it cannot protect from electrocution. You can check OSHA‘s website for proper information. You should select the most appropriate hard hat which can adjust with your work environment and approved by OSHA and meet the criteria of ANSI (American National Standard).
What do hard hat colors mean? What color should I wear?
There is a general color-coding system for hard hats. Though color coding system varies over countries some basic rules are common everywhere.
White: Site managers, Supervisors, and engineers basically wear the white head hats.
Yellow: Yellow is the basic color for laborers and the operators.
Blue: Blue is for the carpenter, electrician, and other operators.
Green: It is for safety inspectors or other probationary staff.
Orange: lift operator, traffic marshals, crane operator, or any other signal operator.
Red: especially for fire marshal.
Brown: for welders or other high heat application workers.
Grey: Grey is worn by the site visitors or any other staff who forgot their hats.
You should wear according to your job type, even try to know about the local color code as your occupation. Yellow is the most common color which is used in many countries. You just select your job type, you will find all of the colors from various brands. Just pick one which can meet your requirements.
How to put a light on a hard hat?
You will find some specific hard hats that have built-in headlamp clips. So that you can attach the light. Some LED lights are designed to fit with a hard hat. You need a safe and easy attachment of headlamp in front or back of the hard hat light. Select the headlamp which is compatible with your hard hat. You shouldn’t drill the hat for making the hole, it can damage your hard hat. There are many headlamp clips are made of high-quality plastic. They are easy to use, simply attach the headlamp with hooks around the edge of your hard hat.
Can you wear your hard hat backward?
Wearing your hard hats backward is very uncommon and it depends on your job application. The manufacturers recommend wearing a hard hat properly. OSHA recommends the backward hard hat only when the manufacturer certifies it. Shell is made to protect worker’s heads, so wearing a hat correctly is important for safety. They protect the head from small falling objects. Sometimes it is difficult to wear correctly especially when a worker wears a welding shield. We suggest you wear a hat forward always.
Who wears full brim hard hats?
Construction workers, utility workers, electricians, steelworkers, miners, and farmers all of them wear full brim hard hats. Because they have sun protector with 360-degree protection. They can protect your skin, eye, face, neck from the sun’s heat. They offer non-toxic materials and provide protection of falling objects, weather element and other objects. The full brim is specially designed for protecting any accidental fall or extreme sun heat with high-density polyethylene. Workers can wear it if the temperature of the place is elevated.
How much are aluminum fiber metal hard hats super light?
Fiber metal hard hats are for heavy-duty protection. Aluminum fiber metals are traditional technology with superior protection, they are strong, durable and lightweight. They are made with extra reinforcements with an aerospace aluminum material. This makes the aluminum hard but lightweight and comfortable. Check the hard hat either meets ANSI regulation or not. Since it’s a Type C hat, don’t wear it in the site full of electric wires.
How to wear a hard hat properly?
You need to wear a hard hat properly. Here are some rules you can follow:
- Wear the hat before you go to the respected site,
- Wear the hat facing forward.
- Always adjust suspension between your head and hat. It should fit well around the neck so that you can move without hesitating to lose it. But don’t make the suspension overtight, otherwise, you might observe a mark in your neck.
- Do not alter the shell. Try to focus on manufacturer recommendations
- Always choose a Lightweight hard hat or wearing it longer with comfort
We have tried every possible information to provide you. We have already presented the anatomy of a lightweight hard hat above to make you convinced of the safety benefits of a hard hat. Then we have listed some of the best brands in the marketplace based on engineer’s and worker’s experiences. You can choose any of the lightweight hard hats linked above, according to your workplace requirements. But first, make sure which type of lightweight hard hats your workplace requires.
Remember, a proper type, well fit, and a good brand of lightweight hard hat can even save your life by protecting your head.