Hard Hats or Hard Heads?

There is a lot of misinformation or lack of information flying around regarding one of our more visible symbols - our hard hat.  Per our CBA Section 9.12 - The employer shall provide hard hats to all employees.  All hard hats must meet all safety requirements and be approved by the Union.  The hard hats we currently use are manufactured by Bullard.  Our hard hats are Type 1 Class E & G.  Type 1 tells us that the hard hat is rated for impacts only on the top of the head.  Class E & G tells us that the hard hat is intended to reduce exposure to both low voltage and high voltage.  Class G hard hats are rated for 2200 volts phase to ground, while Class E hard hats are rated for 20,000 volts phase to ground.  So that means our hard hats, both the full brim and the cap style, are rated up to 20,000 volts phase to ground.

The other concern is in regards to the useful life of a hard hat.  The statement below is directly from a Bullard bulletin regarding that very issue.  The date stamp on the hard hat is there to indicate the date of manufacturing and should not necessarily be used as the only means to determine an "expiration date" of a hard hat.  I will add my disclaimer at this point and time - While the manufacturer states that an item may still be serviceable, a safety officer has the prerogative to be stricter.  So yes they can condemn your "brand new" hard hat because it was manufactured more than five years ago.


Warranty vs. Useful Life

Bullard hard hats and caps have a two (2) year warranty from date of manufacture. As long as the product is stored properly, according to manufacturer’s recommendations, the actual “useful life” of the hard hat does not begin until the helmet is placed in service.