With a myriad of head protection options out there, knowing what to look for when choosing a safety helmet and what options will help a team perform to the best of their ability is essential
MSA Safety has some advice on how to maintain worker safety.
It is not worth putting the health of workers at risk with lower quality PPE just because of its initial cost. But, beyond safety, maximising one’s PPE budget by choosing a quality safety partner will not only ensure a better, more consistent return on the money spent, but also help to get the most out of a team.
If a worker knows that they are well-protected, they can have complete confidence in carrying out their duties. The best choice of helmets will also be the most comfortable. This can contribute to a happier workforce, one that will create a better culture within an organisation. The result of greater confidence and happiness is a willingness to work more efficiently. Forbes has even suggested that a happier worker can be up to 20% more productive – meaning the PPE budget has paid for itself.
To achieve these benefits, hard hats need to be appropriate to the workers’ task and working environment, fit comfortably and provide the highest levels of safety.
Some of the key questions to be asking when considering the correct helmet design include asking if it complies with the relevant standards. Complying with standards is not just about safety – failing to be compliant can result in large fines and reputational damage for an organisation. Check if meeting ANSI, CSA and EN standards or other grades for specific applications is required.
Comfort should also be taken into consideration, as a comfortable helmet is more likely to be worn than one that doesn’t fit properly. Look for features like a fast-dry sweatband, intuitive and full adjustability, ventilation systems and a lightweight design.
Does it look good? While safety should never be compromised for style, a more attractive helmet can increase the likelihood that it will be worn.
Furthermore, the addition of accessories may be needed to add extra protection for workers’ faces, eyes, hearing and breathing.
And finally, the freedom to choose application specific features is important. For example, when working at heights or in confined spaces, a helmet with a chinstrap and that is brimless and compact is ideal, while working in electrical environments or around chemicals, it is better to have the option to choose helmets that are non-vented, have an integrated face-mask, is made of anti-static materials and is gutter free.
On a project site with dozens or even hundreds of workers, hard hat customisation with different colours or logos is critical to make identification easier.
Managing a busy project, with multiple sub-contractors can be challenging, and it is important to remember that sub-contractors may be relative strangers to the workplace and unfamiliar with an organisation’s procedures and rules. Customised hard hats provide a useful reminder of who’s who and what workers’ positions and responsibilities are.
Other, more fundamental safety features can also be added on, including retro-fitted stickers that enhance the visibility and safety of workers, and the promotion of potentially life-saving safety messages and reminders.
Furthermore, in an increasingly competitive market, customisation, including the printing of companies’ logos, is an invaluable marketing tool which enables companies to stand out from the crowd. It can also unify workforces and foster a greater sense of collective teamwork and pride.
Top tips to consider when customising:
After deciding that helmet customisation is a valuable tool for a company, here are some things to consider when branding hard hats:
• Check that what you have in mind conforms to the company standards before ordering
• Think about what safety procedures you adhere to – could some of that messaging be placed on the hard hat for visibility?
• Think about the colours and sizing of logos and messages, and how they would change when applied to the finished product.
• How quickly can the product be turned around? MSA Safety can have logoed hard hats manufactured within as little as five days.