Worker Protections

Head Protection

0 MM+
workers in the United States are protected by head protection.
Head Protection

Head Protection Buyers Guide

Head Protection Worker Protections

Protecting employees from potential head injuries is a key element of any safety program. A head injury can impair an employee for life or it can be fatal. Wearing a safety helmet or hard hat helps to protect a worker’s head from injury. Hard hats can protect employees from impact and penetration hazards, as well as from electrical shock and burn hazards. Head protection is worn by construction and electrical workers, roadside crews, warehouse workers, landscapers, inspectors, and other workers. 180

Federal Standards & Regulation

OSHA mandates specific rules for head protection that aim to create a work environment safe from known dangers or hazards: 

  • OSHA 29 CFR 1910.135 governs safety helmet requirements for general industry workers. 
  • OSHA 29 CFR 1926.100 governs head protection requirements for construction, demolition, and renovation workers. 

Both require head protection to comply with the ANSI/ISEA Z89.1 American National Standard.

American National Standard

ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2014 (R2019) American National Standard for Industrial Head Protection
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.

Helmet Types

Type I – Top Protection 
Type II – Lateral Impact Protection 


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. 
Both types are tested for impact attenuation and penetration resistance.  

Helmet Electrical Insulation Classes

Glass G (general) – Tested at 2200 volts 
Class E (electrical) – Tested to withstand 20,000 volts 
Class C (conductive) – No electrical protection 

Additional Resources

ISEA is represented on the following standards committees and panels:

  • ANSI Z49 – Safety in Welding and Cutting
  • ANSI Z87 – Eye and Face Protection
  • ANSI Z10 – Occupational Safety and Health Systems
  • ASTM E54 – Homeland Security Applications, E54.4 – PPE
  • NFPA Technical Correlating Committee – Fire & Emergency Services Protective Clothing & Equipment
  • NFPA Technical Committee on Fire Service Occupational Safety & Health
  • CSA Z94.1 – Technical Committee on Head Protection
  • US TAG Administrator, ISO TC94 Technical Committee for Personnel Safety, SC1 Head Protection
  • US TAG to ISO TC94, SC14 Fire Fighters Personal Equipment

Head Protection Product Group Members

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