ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 Industrial Head Protection

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This standard provides performance and testing requirements for industrial helmets, commonly known as hard hats.  It establishes the types and classes of protective helmets, depending on the type of hazard encountered.  It includes specifications for helmets designed to offer protection from lateral impact, or top-only impact, giving employers and users the flexibility to specify the helmet that best meets the needs of their specific workplace.

ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 was prepared by the members of ISEA’s Head Protection Group as a revision to ANSI Z89.1-2009, and approved by a consensus review panel of users, government agencies and safety experts.

Industrial head protective helmets meeting the requirements of this standard are classified as Type I for top protection, or Type II for lateral impact protection.  Both types are tested for impact attenuation and penetration resistance.  Type II helmet performance requirements include criteria for impact energy attenuation from impacts from the front, back and sides as well as the top; off-center penetration resistance, and chin strap retention.

The three classes indicate the helmets electrical insulation rating.  Class G (general) helmets are tested at 2200 volts, Class E (electrical) are tested to withstand 20,000 volts, and Class C (conductive) provide no electrical protection.

Key updates contained in this version include optional testing and marking features for head protection for use in high-temperature environments, as well as editorial revisions to clarify test procedures.

“ISEA’s Head Protection Group established the optional preconditioning at higher temperatures as a parallel to the previous optional cold preconditioning performance criteria,” noted Joann Kline, chairman of the ISEA Head Protection Group and safety products, standards and regulations leader for Kimberly-Clark Professional. “Workers are exposed to myriad head hazards on any given day and we must be diligent in addressing various safety ranges in work environments to ensure user safety. ISEA’s next step is to encourage and assist OHSA’s recognition of this updated standard in its PPE regulations for head protection.”

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