The Ins and Outs of Workplace Helmets
Protective helmets are used in many workplaces. It is difficult to imagine working in a mine, on a construction site, in a warehouse or at heights without the protection of a helmet. Contrary to first glance, helmet differentiations can be extremely extensive. It is important to know what material to use, the types of harnesses in helmets and how to check the expiration date of a helmet (yes, helmets have an expiration date). When choosing a protective helmet, workers must first consider their work conditions and what properties may be necessary. Are they working at high temperatures? If so, they must remember about ventilation. Antistatic helmets, or those with high resistance to splashes of molten metal might be necessary in workplaces like foundries. Materials The most common materials from which the helmet's shell is made are HDPE and ABS. 1. HDPE material helmets are heavy and thick. They manifest very good shock absorption during impact. These types of helmets are often used in agriculture, construction, electric utility, sand blasting, welding, chemical, mining, nuclear and oil refining industries. Construction accident legal cases in particular, dive heavily into the proper use of these helmets and their role in safeguarding further injuries. 2. ABS material provides high impact resistance. It is more expensive than HDPE. ABS helmets' walls are thinner, which makes them lightweight. It also has image values like making them look shinier. They are mostly used recreationally for activities such as bicycling, skiing and snowboarding, skateboarding, and as general safety-use helmets. 3. Anti-electrostatic property helmets are intended for employees working in explosion hazard zones - tanker drivers (ADR), miners. The Body of the Helmet The inner part of the helmet that directly touches the head is the harness. It is responsible for the shock absorption when it hits the shell. The task of the truss is among others, keeping the helmet on the head. It is worth knowing that the distance between the shell and the top of the truss should be between one to two inches. The main belt is an element of the truss that allows the helmet to be stabilized on the head, thanks to the possibility of adjusting the circumference. Most often, adjustment is possible with a belt, buckle or knob. Very often there is a sweatband in the front part of the strap, which minimizes the pressure of the helmet on the head and ensures maximum sweat absorption. The chin strap is usually already included in the helmet but can also be purchased separately. Its role is to prevent the protective helmet from falling off the head when the employee tilts his head down. The strap can be detached at any time. It can be attached to the truss with 2-, 3- or 4- points. The rule of thumb is that the more attachment points, the more firmly the helmet will fit on your head. Chin straps should not cause abrasions, limit and restrict movements, or move loosely during work. Expiration Each helmet shell is marked with its production date in the form of an arrow indicating the month and year. Most often, the validity of the helmet is between two to five years. However, remember to always read the attached instruction manual. It may happen that the expiry date of the helmet will be counted from the first use of the helmet. Nevertheless, any helmet is vulnerable to damage and should be inspected before usage.