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PPE Fact Sheet—The right Equipment—Head to Toe

PPE is the last line of defense against workplace hazards. OSHA defines PPE as "equipment for the eyes, face, head, and extremities, protective clothing, respiratory devices, protective shields and barriers." Many OSHA regulations state that PPE must meet criteria set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI).

Head Protection

OSHA requires that head protection (hard hats) be worn if there is a risk of head injury from electrical burns or falling/flying objects.


Aren’t all hard hats the same?

No. You must wear the right hat for the job. All hard hats approved for electrical work made since 1997 are marked "Class E." Hard hats made before 1997 are marked "Class B." These markings will be on a label inside the helmet or stamped into the helmet itself. Newer hats may also be marked "Type 1" or "Type 2." Type 1 hard hats protect you from impacts on the top of your head. Type 2 hard hats protect you from impacts on the top and sides of your head.

How do I wear and care for my hard hat?

Always wear your hat with the bill forward. (Hats are tested in this position.) If you wear a hat differ- ently, you may not be fully protected. The hat should fit snugly without being too tight. You should clean and inspect your hard hat regu- larly according to the manufac- turer’s instructions. Check the hat for cracks, dents, frayed straps, and dulling of the finish. These conditions can reduce protection. Use only mild soap and water for cleaning. Heavy-duty cleaners and other chemicals can damage the hat.

Don’t wear another hat under your hard hat!

Class E, Type 1 hard hat.

Class B hard hat.

Page 72

Section 8

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