Important to know about head protection

If an employee suffers a head injury due to negligence in the workplace, it can result in costly compensation claims and increased insurance premiums for employers. A company's reputation can also be at stake in the event of workplace injuries.

There are two important types of head protection in the industrial and construction sectors: safety helmets and bump caps. The type of head protection to be used depends on the risks present in the workplace.

Common causes of head injuries

There are two common causes of head injuries. The first is slipping, tripping, or falling. The second cause is being struck by a falling or moving object.

Slipping, tripping, or falling

Employees who work in heavy industry and construction are generally assumed to have the greatest risk of suffering a head injury in the workplace. However, people in all industries are prone to slipping, tripping, or falling, which can result in a head injury. Employees who work at heights are at the greatest risk of suffering a head injury in a fall accident. The most common causes of accidents in work at heights are work on the roof, where employees can fall through or off the roof when fall protection is not used as it should be.

Being struck by a falling or moving object

If you are struck by a moving or falling object at work, it can lead to serious and lifelong injuries.

When to use a safety helmet?

Safety helmets should always be used in environments where there is a risk of:

  • falling objects
  • crushing
  • radiant heat
  • splash of molten metal
  • electricity - some helmets or interiors are prepared for work situations near this.
  • electric arcs - if this risk occurs, there are packages that contain a helmet, ear protection, and visor that are specially approved against electric arcs.

When working in cold conditions, a helmet that also provides room for a helmet hood should be used.

When to use a bump cap?

A bump cap should always be used in environments where there is a risk of:

  • Hitting the head against hard objects, sharp objects, or protruding objects, for example, in confined spaces.

Aging resistance

For an industrial helmet, there is no general answer or information in the standard about when a helmet should be replaced. This is because helmets are used and stored in varying environments. However, the helmets are laboratory tested in an environment equivalent to three years in Scandinavian climate. After the test, the helmets showed largely unchanged properties. This time can be reduced if the helmet has been exposed to chemicals or prolonged sunlight.

The helmet should be immediately replaced if it has been exposed to:

  • chemicals
  • a strong blow
  • prolonged sunlight

It has been difficult to give a general answer about the lifespan of a helmet regarding UV radiation because the amount of radiation is determined by how much time is spent outdoors and how strong the radiation is.

Helmet testing

In the European standard EN 397, helmets can be tested in different classes, for example:

  • Cold test should be conducted at -10°C, while -20°C and -30°C are voluntary.
  • Helmets that meet the toughest requirements, i.e. -30°C, can also have high side stiffness (LD).

Helmets can, among other things, also be tested and approved for:

  • Metal splash (MM)
  • Electrical insulation (440 VAC)

What is MIPS (helmets with MIPS technology)

A safety helmet with MIPS technology is specially developed to provide the head with extra protection against harmful rotational movements. Between the head and the outer shell of the Zekler Zone MIPS protective helmet, there is a patented low-friction layer from MIPS. In addition to a world-class safety system, the protective helmet is also equipped with 12 ventilation holes and smart click fasteners for headlamps, hearing protection, visors, visor shields, and neck protection.