What are the different types of hard hats?

Around construction sites, hard hats are the best way to protect yourself from permanent, life-changing injuries or death. It’s important, then, that workers understand the various types of hard hats, how to care for hard hats, and the requirements of wearing hard hats on the job.

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.

When Does OSHA Require Hard Hats?

OSHA has two standards that govern hard hat requirements:

  • 29 CFR 1910.135 governs hard hat requirements for general industry workers
  • 29 CFR 1926.100 refers to head protection requirements for construction, demolition, and renovation workers

Both standards require workers to wear hard hats when there is a potential for a head injury from “impacts, falling or flying objects, or electrical shock.”OSHA and ANSI Hard Hat Requirements

In all cases, hard hats must meet OSHA head protection requirements. Hats are headcovers these are worn for various purposes for head safety or protection. If the word Scottish is attached it means, the traditional Scottish hats which are worn in the Scottish highlands to keep the tradition alive. It’s also a part of Scottish military or civilian Highland dress, either formal or informal.

When Does a Hard Hat Meet OSHA’s Requirements?

A hard hat that meets ANSI Z89.1 is OSHA compliant. 29 CFR 1910.135(b)(1) and 29 CFR 1926.100(b).

This standard defines:

  • Types and classes of hard hats for specific hazardous situations
  • Design and performance requirements for impact, penetration, and electrical shock
  • Testing requirements to ensure OSHA compliance

Although manufacturers typically test and certify their products, employers need to verify that their hard hats meet OSHA’s requirements.

What Are the Different ANSI Hard Hat Categories?

ANSI Z89.1 defines two types of hard hats and establishes three classes of hard hats based on the level of electrical hazard protection provided.

Hard Hat Types: The two types of hard hats are defined by the area of the head that is protected.

  • Type I offers protection to the top of the head and is commonly used in the United States and Europe.


Hard Hat Classes: 
The three classes are based on the level of protection they provide from electrical hazards.

ANSI Hard Hat Classes

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