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OSHA (Occupational Safety & Health Administration) has issued regulation 1910.135, which outlines what personal protective equipment (PPE) should encompass. Their recommendations follow those of ANSI (American National Standards Institute), which sets standards for a variety of items, including safety hard hats. OSHA has also published a “Personal Protective Equipment Training Guide,” which covers construction hard hats and other protective items (goggles, gloves, etc.).
An MSA Hard Hat, as an example, is a source for a wide variety of hard hats ANSI approved in many colors and designs, including cowboy hard hats. There are designs that have full brims, hats with sunshields, and female-oriented hard hats, MSA has head protection that fits both your work and your personality. Jackson Hard Hats also produce high tech and high “fashion” head protection for both men and women workers. Since ANSI updated their standards in 1997, most manufacturers make both type 1 and type 2 (protects against both vertical and horizontal object problems) hard hats per these recommendations. North Hard Hats is another respected manufacturer of quality head protection and offers many choices of styles and colors.
When you buy hard hats, look for any statements that ensure those you consider are “OSHA-compliant” and/or comply with current ANSI standards of manufacture and protection. Once you are satisfied your choices meet these recommendations, you can pick out the style and color that fits your requirements and preferences.
|Jennifer Mathes, Ph.D.|