ANSI-Z89.1-1997 Standard Highlights
-The standard kind of hard hat you've worn for years is now called a Type I helmet, a helmet that provides protection for the top of your head.
-Helmets that provide some degree of top and off-center protection are discussed in the new ANSI Z89.1-1997 Standard and are called Type II helmets.
-Helmet wearers must decide whether or not the Type I (top impact) helmet currently meets requirements, or if your work conditions warrant a Type II (top and lateral impact) helmet.
The Standard provides minimum performance requirements
1) to reduce the forces of impact and penetration from falling objects, and
2) where applicable, to provide protection from electrical shock hazards.
Defining a hard hat is best done through examining what the hard hat offers in terms of protection:
Type I helmets are classified for class E, G, and C hard hats. These classifications deal specifically with electrical insulation, which is a measure of the electrical shock resistance capability of the helmet.
What do the classifications mean?
Class E (Electrical) helmets intended to reduce the danger of exposure to high voltage electrical conductors, proof tested at 20,000 volts. Class E is tested for force transmission first, then tested at 20,000 volts for 3 minutes, with 9 milliamps maximum current leakage; then tested at 30,000 volts, with no burn-through permitted. (formerly Class B)
Class G (General) helmets intended to reduce the danger of exposure to low voltage electrical conductors, proof tested at 2,200 volts. Class G is tested at 2,200 volts for 1 minute, with 3 milliamps max. leakage. (formerly Class A)
Class C (Conductive) helmets not intended to provide protection from electrical conductors. Class C is not tested for electrical resistance (no change in class designation).
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