Hard hat
Overview
 
A hard hat is a type of helmet
Helmet
A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries.Ceremonial or symbolic helmets without protective function are sometimes used. The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900BC, who wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from...

 predominantly used in workplace environments, such as construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 sites, to protect the head
Human head
In human anatomy, the head is the upper portion of the human body. It supports the face and is maintained by the skull, which itself encloses the brain.-Cultural importance:...

 from injury by falling objects, impact with other objects, debris, bad weather and electric shock. Inside the helmet is a suspension that spreads the helmet's weight over the top of the head. It also provides a space of approximately 30 mm (1.2 inch) between the helmet's shell and the wearer's head so that if an object strikes the shell, the impact is less likely to be transmitted directly to the skull.
Encyclopedia
A hard hat is a type of helmet
Helmet
A helmet is a form of protective gear worn on the head to protect it from injuries.Ceremonial or symbolic helmets without protective function are sometimes used. The oldest known use of helmets was by Assyrian soldiers in 900BC, who wore thick leather or bronze helmets to protect the head from...

 predominantly used in workplace environments, such as construction
Construction
In the fields of architecture and civil engineering, construction is a process that consists of the building or assembling of infrastructure. Far from being a single activity, large scale construction is a feat of human multitasking...

 sites, to protect the head
Human head
In human anatomy, the head is the upper portion of the human body. It supports the face and is maintained by the skull, which itself encloses the brain.-Cultural importance:...

 from injury by falling objects, impact with other objects, debris, bad weather and electric shock. Inside the helmet is a suspension that spreads the helmet's weight over the top of the head. It also provides a space of approximately 30 mm (1.2 inch) between the helmet's shell and the wearer's head so that if an object strikes the shell, the impact is less likely to be transmitted directly to the skull. Sometimes the helmet shell has a midline reinforcement ridge, which strengthens it against impact.

History

Management professor Peter Drucker
Peter Drucker
Peter Ferdinand Drucker was an influential writer, management consultant, and self-described “social ecologist.”-Introduction:...

 credits writer Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka
Franz Kafka was a culturally influential German-language author of short stories and novels. Contemporary critics and academics, including Vladimir Nabokov, regard Kafka as one of the best writers of the 20th century...

 with developing the first civilian hard hat when he was employed at the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia (1912), but this is not supported by any document from his employer.

In the United States, the E.D. Bullard Company was a mining equipment firm in California, created by Edward Dickinson Bullard in 1898, who was in the industrial safety business for 20 years. The company sold protective hats, but they were only made of leather. His son, E.W. Bullard, arrived home from World War I
World War I
World War I , which was predominantly called the World War or the Great War from its occurrence until 1939, and the First World War or World War I thereafter, was a major war centred in Europe that began on 28 July 1914 and lasted until 11 November 1918...

 with a steel helmet, which provided him with an idea to improve industrial safety. In 1919 Bullard patented a "Hard-Boiled Hat", made of steamed canvas, glue and black paint. That same year the U.S. Navy commissioned Bullard to create a shipyard
Shipyard
Shipyards and dockyards are places which repair and build ships. These can be yachts, military vessels, cruise liners or other cargo or passenger ships. Dockyards are sometimes more associated with maintenance and basing activities than shipyards, which are sometimes associated more with initial...

 protective cap, which began the widespread use of hard hats. Not long after, Bullard developed an internal suspension that would provide a more effective hat. These early designs bore a resemblance to the military M1917 "Brodie" helmet
Brodie helmet
The Brodie helmet, called Helmet, steel, Mark I helmet in Britain and the M1917 Helmet in the U.S., was a steel combat helmet designed and patented in 1915 by the Briton John Leopold Brodie...

, which served as their inspiration.

In 1933 construction began on the Golden Gate Bridge
Golden Gate Bridge
The Golden Gate Bridge is a suspension bridge spanning the Golden Gate, the opening of the San Francisco Bay into the Pacific Ocean. As part of both U.S. Route 101 and California State Route 1, the structure links the city of San Francisco, on the northern tip of the San Francisco Peninsula, to...

 in San Francisco California. This was the second construction site
Construction Site
Construction Site is a television series created by The Jim Henson Company in 1999, and consists of 7 construction vehicles. The show was broadcast on ABC Kids for a while, and had a range of videos. It was originally produced for and shown on CITV starting in 1999. In 2000 it was nominated for a...

 in history where construction workers were required to wear hard hats (the first being the Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam
Hoover Dam, once known as Boulder Dam, is a concrete arch-gravity dam in the Black Canyon of the Colorado River, on the border between the US states of Arizona and Nevada. It was constructed between 1931 and 1936 during the Great Depression and was dedicated on September 30, 1935, by President...

 project in 1931, as mandated by Six Companies, Inc), by order of Joseph Strauss, the project chief engineer. He wanted the workplace to be as safe as possible; hence, he installed safety nets and required hard hats while on the job site. Strauss also asked Bullard to create a hard hat to protect workers who performed sandblasting. Bullard produced a design that covered the worker's face, provided a window for vision and a supply of fresh air via a hose connected to the air compressor.

Aluminum
Aluminium
Aluminium or aluminum is a silvery white member of the boron group of chemical elements. It has the symbol Al, and its atomic number is 13. It is not soluble in water under normal circumstances....

 became a standard for hard hats around 1938, except in electrical applications.

Fiberglass
Glass-reinforced plastic
Fiberglass , is a fiber reinforced polymer made of a plastic matrix reinforced by fine fibers of glass. It is also known as GFK ....

 came into use in the 1940s.

Thermoplastics took over in the 1950s, because they were easy to mold and shape with heat and cost less to manufacture. Today, most hard hats are made from high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or advanced engineering resins, such as Ultem.

In 1997 ANSI
Ansi
Ansi is a village in Kaarma Parish, Saare County, on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia....

 allowed the development of a ventilated hard hat to keep wearers cooler. To it could be added accessories like face shield
Face shield
A face shield is a device used to protect wearer's entire face from impact hazard such as flying objects and road debris, chemical splashes , or potentially infectious fluid .-Industry:...

s, sun visor
Sun visor
A sun visor is a component of an automobile located on the interior just above the windshield .Most cars have two sun visors, one for the driver's side and a second for the passenger's side, with the rear-view mirror often mounted in between the two sun visors. Each visor can be lowered to help...

s, earmuffs
Earmuffs
Earmuffs are objects designed to cover a person's ears for protection. They consist of a thermoplastic or metal head-band, that fits over the top of the head, and a pad at each end, to cover the external ears....

, and perspiration-absorbing cloths which line the hats. Today, attachments include radio
Radio
Radio is the transmission of signals through free space by modulation of electromagnetic waves with frequencies below those of visible light. Electromagnetic radiation travels by means of oscillating electromagnetic fields that pass through the air and the vacuum of space...

s, walkietalkies, pager
Pager
A pager is a simple personal telecommunications device for short messages. A one-way numeric pager can only receive a message consisting of a few digits, typically a phone number that the user is then requested to call...

s, and camera
Camera
A camera is a device that records and stores images. These images may be still photographs or moving images such as videos or movies. The term camera comes from the camera obscura , an early mechanism for projecting images...

s.

Design

Because hard hats are intended to protect the wearer's head from impacts where heavy labor is being performed, they are made from durable materials, originally from metal
Metal
A metal , is an element, compound, or alloy that is a good conductor of both electricity and heat. Metals are usually malleable and shiny, that is they reflect most of incident light...

, then fiberglass
Fiberglass
Glass fiber is a material consisting of numerous extremely fine fibers of glass.Glassmakers throughout history have experimented with glass fibers, but mass manufacture of glass fiber was only made possible with the invention of finer machine tooling...

, and most-commonly (from the 1950s onward) rigid plastic
Plastic
A plastic material is any of a wide range of synthetic or semi-synthetic organic solids used in the manufacture of industrial products. Plastics are typically polymers of high molecular mass, and may contain other substances to improve performance and/or reduce production costs...

.

Some contemporary cap-style hard hats feature a rolled edge that acts like a rain gutter
Rain gutter
A rain gutter is a narrow channel, or trough, forming the component of a roof system which collects and diverts rainwater shed by the roof....

 to channel rainwater to the front, allowing it to drain off the bill, instead of letting the water run down the wearer's neck. A cowboy hard hat is a hard hat shaped like a wide rimmed cowboy hat
Cowboy hat
The cowboy hat is a high-crowned, wide-brimmed hat best known as the defining piece of attire for the North American cowboy. Today it is worn by many people, and is particularly associated with ranch workers in the western and southern United States, western Canada and northern Mexico, with...

, although some organizations disallow their use.

Organizations issuing hard hats often include their names and/or logos (or some other message) on the front of each hard hat.

Hardhats may also be fitted with:
  • Visor
    Visor
    A visor is a surface that protects the eyes, such as shading them from the sun or other bright light or protecting them from objects....

    :
    • As in a welding helmet
      Welding helmet
      Welding helmets are headgear used when performing certain types of welding to protect the eyes, face and neck from flash burn, ultraviolet light, sparks, infrared light, and heat. Most commonly used with arc welding processes such as shielded metal arc welding, gas tungsten arc welding, and gas...

      , or
    • A safety visor
      Visor
      A visor is a surface that protects the eyes, such as shading them from the sun or other bright light or protecting them from objects....

  • Ear protectors
    Earmuffs
    Earmuffs are objects designed to cover a person's ears for protection. They consist of a thermoplastic or metal head-band, that fits over the top of the head, and a pad at each end, to cover the external ears....

  • Mirrors for increased rear field-of-view
  • A helmet light mount
    Helmet Light Mount
    A helmet light mount is a small apparatus that is used to hold a flashlight to a hard hat. When working in dark construction zones, workers find it necessary to use a light to see what they are doing. The mount device frees their hands to continue working rather than being required to hold the...

  • A chinstrap
    Chinstrap
    The chinstrap beard is a type of facial hair that extends from the hair line of one side of the face to the other, following the jawline, much like the chin curtain; unlike the chin curtain though, it does not cover the entire chin, but only the very edges of the jaw and chin...

     to keep the helmet from falling off if the wearer bends over
  • Thick insulating side pads to keep the sides of the head warm in very cold places. Examples are seen in Ice Road Truckers
    Ice Road Truckers
    Ice Road Truckers is a documentary-style reality television series that premiered on History on June 17, 2007.-History:In 2000, History aired a 46-minute episode titled "Ice Road Truckers" as part of the Suicide Missions series...

    .


Hard hat colors can signify different roles on construction sites. For instance, white might signify supervisors or engineers, blue technical advisors, red safety inspectors, and yellow laborers.

A hard hat also gives a worker a distinctive profile, identifiable even in peripheral vision, for safety around equipment or traffic. Safety colors like orange or green do not appear in peripheral vision, but the hard hatted shape of a worker will be avoided.

In 1997, the American National Standards Institute
American National Standards Institute
The American National Standards Institute is a private non-profit organization that oversees the development of voluntary consensus standards for products, services, processes, systems, and personnel in the United States. The organization also coordinates U.S. standards with international...

 revised its performance standards for hard hats. Conformity to these standards and regulation are not necessary but almost all manufactures comply:
  • ANSI
    Ansi
    Ansi is a village in Kaarma Parish, Saare County, on the island of Saaremaa, Estonia....

     Type I / CSA
    Canadian Standards Association
    The Canadian Standards Association, also known as the CSA, is a not-for-profit Standards organization with the stated aim of developing standards for use in 57 different areas of specialisation...

     Type 1 hard hats meet stringent vertical impact and penetration requirements.
  • ANSI Type II / CSA Type 2 hard hats meet both vertical and lateral impact and penetration requirements and have a foam inner liner of expanded polystyrene (EPS).
  • A Class E hard hat has been proof-tested to insulate up to 20,000 volts of electrical potential.
  • ANSI have compliance for hard hats and their combustibility
    Combustibility
    Combustibility is a measure of how easily a substance will set on fire, through fire or combustion. This is an important property to consider when a substance is used for construction or is being stored. Special precautions are usually required for substances that are easily combustible...

     or flammability
    Flammability
    Flammability is defined as how easily something will burn or ignite, causing fire or combustion. The degree of difficulty required to cause the combustion of a substance is quantified through fire testing. Internationally, a variety of test protocols exist to quantify flammability...

     criteria.


Blue-collar worker
Blue-collar worker
A blue-collar worker is a member of the working class who performs manual labor. Blue-collar work may involve skilled or unskilled, manufacturing, mining, construction, mechanical, maintenance, technical installation and many other types of physical work...

s, especially union shop
Union shop
A union shop is a form of a union security clause under which the employer agrees to hire either labor union members or nonmembers but all non-union employees must become union members within a specified period of time or lose their jobs...

 construction workers, engaged in occupations that require protective equipment are sometimes metonymically
Metonymy
Metonymy is a figure of speech used in rhetoric in which a thing or concept is not called by its own name, but by the name of something intimately associated with that thing or concept...

 referred to as "hard hats".

A bump cap is a lightweight kind of hard hat with simplified suspension or padding in lieu of suspension and having only a chin strap. It is used where there is a possibility of scraping or bumping one's head on equipment or structure projections, but is not strong enough to absorb large impacts, such as from a tool dropped several stories.

Early on in the ship building industry workers would cover their hats with pitch (tar), and set them in the sun to cure. This was common practice for dock workers who were in constant danger of being hit on the head by objects being dropped from the deck of ships. There were also occasional items falling from the beaks of sea birds, who would pick up just about any item then drop it realizing that the object was inedible.

See also

  • Goggles
    Goggles
    Goggles or safety glasses are forms of protective eyewear that usually enclose or protect the area surrounding the eye in order to prevent particulates, water or chemicals from striking the eyes. They are used in chemistry laboratories and in woodworking. They are often used in snow sports as well,...

  • Protective clothing
  • Safety engineering
    Safety engineering
    Safety engineering is an applied science strongly related to systems engineering / industrial engineering and the subset System Safety Engineering...

  • Steel-toe boots
    Steel-toe boots
    A steel-toe boot is a durable boot or shoe that has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from falling objects or compression, usually it is combined with a mid sole plate to protect against punctures from below.Although traditionally made of steel, the reinforcement can...

The source of this article is wikipedia, the free encyclopedia.  The text of this article is licensed under the GFDL.
 
x
OK