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What is a safety helmet

A safety helmet is personal protective equipment designed to protect the head from injury in the workplace.

Parts of a safety helmet

A hard hat consists of:

  • Shell: the part of the helmet that includes the outermost surface. It is the part that would receive the impact.
  • Harness: the complete assembly used to keep the helmet correctly mounted on the head and/or to absorb the energy of the impact.
  • Chinstrap: Used to hold the helmet under the chin. Usually made of synthetic fabric, which may be elastic for greater adaptability. The chinstrap can have 2 or 4 attachment points. A 4-point chinstrap provides more stability to the helmet.

What materials are helmets made of?

A helmet can be made of many materials, which can be simple or composite.

These are tough materials, such as polymers, plastics, glass fibres or metal, and their design includes a strong outer shell and an internal suspension system to absorb impacts. For example, the shell may be injected with a single material, such as high-density polyethylene (5-RS and 5-RG helmets) or ABS (CURRO, TIRRENO and CADÍ helmets); or it may be made of composite material such as an expanded polystyrene shell and an in-mould bonded polycarbonate sheet (MAKALU91 helmet).

In addition, the inner suspension system can be interchangeable (removable plastic strapping such as 5-RS and 5-RG helmet) or fixed (POREX shaped such as CADÍ or MAKALU91 helmet).

See 5-RG helmet See 5-RS helmet See 5-R minero helmet See Tirreno TX helmet See Tirreno TXR helmet
See Cadí helmet See Curro helmet See Makalu91 helmet

Types of safety helmet

Safety helmets can be classified:

  • According to their use:

Industry helmet: Safety helmets are used in a variety of work environments, including construction, mining, oil industry, manufacturing and agriculture. Their use is mandatory in many countries to protect workers from the risks of falling objects, blows to the head, electric shock and other hazards that can cause serious injury or even death.

Electrically insulating helmet: This type of helmet is used in electrical work and is designed to protect the wearer against electric shock. It is made of insulating materials, and must not have exposed metal parts.

Mountaineering helmets: These types of helmets are technically designed to withstand different impact situations. They are also characterised by being lightweight and having holes for ventilation.

  • Depending on their design:

Visor: they can have a visor (5RS, 5RG and TIRRENO helmets) or no visor (CURRO helmet). The visor prevents the sun from falling directly into the eyes, as well as preventing the impact of small objects on the face from above. For work at heights, where it is common to raise the head, it is usual not to use a visor as it hinders vision.

Wing: They may or may not have a brim (5-RS and 5RG helmets), which is the rim around the cap. This rim may include a water catcher.

What standards do safety helmets have to meet?

General industry helmets must comply with EN 397:2012+A1:2012. In addition, industrial helmets can also comply with EN 50365:2002 as electrically insulating helmets for use in low voltage installations (5-RS, 5-RG and CURRO helmets).

There is also a special standard for sports helmets, e.g. for use in mountaineering. Helmets for mountaineers must comply with EN 12492:2012 (CADÍ and MAKALU91 helmets).

This standard includes many of the requirements of an industrial helmet and it is common for a mountaineering helmet to be able to meet the requirements for impact protection.

And puncture resistance according to EN 397:2012+A1:2012 (CADÍ and MAKALU91 helmets).