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Top 10 Hard Hats of 2018
December 13, 2018
By: Mark Daniels
Safety is always a concern, or at least should be, for companies and workers involved in industries and jobs where risk of injury is high. One of the first things visitors will notice when visiting practically any construction or industrial site is the requirement to wear a hard hat. Why would companies require both workers and visitors to don these pieces of safety equipment if there were no benefit to the company? Answer: Many reasons from legal liability to genuine concern for the safety of their workers and casual visitors or visiting vendors. In addition, worker’s injuries from accidents, especially head accidents, are often more expensive for a single injury than an entire program of ensuring these injurious accidents are minimized.
It is well documented that safety gear helps minimize and prevent injuries rising from the inherent risks present in many jobs. Hard hats offer the best protection against head, neck, and brain injuries from many types of risks including falling objects, electrical shock, and lateral protection of many types. In addition, several types of hard hats are available that provide ‘bump’ protection from workers who must navigate in tight spaces where head bumps from overhead or low level objects are common.
There are quite a few manufacturers of hard hats and related safety equipment as well as multiple safety standards with which different types of job categories must comply to meet the standards required for their particular hazards.
Best-selling Hard Hats
It is difficult to get an exact number of sales of this safety gear by absolute numbers, but of the many manufacturers who supply the industry with this gear, a few stand out not only for their sales numbers but also due to their brand loyalty and the sheer breadth of product offerings in their catalog. Manufacturers, not necessarily in terms of absolute sales, but those at the top of the supplier rolls are MSA, Bullard (Honeywell), PIP (Protective Industrial Products), Fibre Metal, Jackson Safety, North Safety, ERB, JSP and others provide a wide variety of hard hats to the worker base requiring these safety gear and many of them seem to have developed thriving businesses out of this market.
OSHA has only two regulations that govern hard hat requirements, one for general industrial workers and one for construction, renovation and demolition workers. Although similar, these regulations stipulate a few different requirements, such as whether or not electrical hazards are present and such, but both require the ANSI Z89 set of protocol standards be met with respect to each regulation. The Z89.1 standards are required to be marked inside each hard hat and stipulate exactly which type and class the equipment is designed to protect against. There are two types and three classes of the Z89.1 requirements that designate the types of hazards for which each hat is designed.
Which Are the Most Popular Hard Hats?
As in any competitive market, quite a bit of innovation, brand building, awareness, and product differentiation has taken place in safety equipment and especially the hard hat marketplace. Before delving into these various innovations, it should be noted that the standard hard plastic, full-brim hard hats are still the best selling and most used by the majority of workers who require hard hats on their job.
Even though this standard hard hat design is the most common, numerous differences exist among manufacturer’s lines as well as within manufacturer’s lines to distinguish among the different ‘styles’. Colors, logos, and different design techniques separate many of these styles but comfort, actual safety features, such as how many anchor points the head band mounts to the shell with, are also used to differentiate styles and brand features.
However, many of these ‘standard’ hard hats are being designed to accommodate additional safety features as add on components. Features such as mounts for hearing protectors, face guards and eyewear are increasingly being incorporated into the standard full brim hard hat’s design. Additional features such as ‘bump’ cap inserts are increasingly making their way into the traditional hard hat’s feature set and it is no doubt that additional features will continually be incorporated as the creativity and demand of the producers and consumers of these products evolve naturally as most product markets do. Not that this is an immature market, it is just one ripe for innovation due to the never ending cycle of new construction as well as demolition to make way for new construction continues its march through history.
One interesting innovation, and one this writer wishes they had thought of long ago, is the relatively new design of cowboy hard hats. Likely an ingenious thought dreamed up by its designer due to the oil industry in the US and its proximity to the old west cowboy lands, a premium but functional design like this will no doubt be repeated, as will such in demand for features like sports team logos and the like.
The top 10 hard hats sold at TASCO Safety are the:
- Pyramex Ridgeline Full Brim Style Hard Hat with Four-Point Suspension
- MSA Cap Style Large Jumbo Hard Hat with Staz-On Suspension
This article was contributed by Mark Daniels with Texas America Safety Company. Mark has extensive experience and expertise writing on industrial safety.