Safety Equipment Standards Blog

What Does Noise Reduction Rating (NRR) Mean? August 02 2018

The Noise Reduction Rating, typically listed in decibels on the packaging of hearing protection devices, is not as straight forward as you might think.  Read on to learn more.

Phenolic Hard Hats July 24 2017

If you work in an industry that requires you to wear a standard, general plastic hardhat, you should know about phenolic hard hats and the difference between the two. When your occupation requires that you be exposed to harsh elements for only a temporary amount of time, you should choose a plastic hard hat. But if you have to be exposed to dangerous chemicals, heat or fire, or possible falling debris, your employer will most likely require you to use phenolic hard hats at all times.

What Are Phenolic Hard Hats

Unlike plastic hard hats, phenolic hard hats are coated with a material designed to prevent them from caving under abnormal and extreme conditions. They provide you with the maximum amount of protection that exceeds what a standard hard hat allows. One of its main features is that it has a sure fit that cradles your head. This is important because a hat that doesn’t fit properly automatically has compromised its integrity and lost some of its safety features. When that happens, it also loses its purpose. These hats are intended to protect your head against the elements plastic hats can’t and don’t protect against.

What Is Their Purpose

Phenolic hard hats can withstand temperatures reaching up to 350º F. The hard shell prevents the heat from penetrating through the hats and jeopardizing your health. Heat that high can cause a multitude of health issues. Electricity also cannot seep through these hats. Due to their nature and design, you will be able to survive, without injury, an electric charge measuring 2,200 volts. This does not mean that you can escape any situation. You just won’t experience a direct contact with the electricity or the heat that you are exposed to. Falling debris kills and injures many people each year, even those who are wearing a hard hat. Phenolic hard hats also guard against the impact of debris. In addition, they protect your head from chemicals, asbestos, and other material that would come into direct contact with the top of your head.

What Occupations Use These Hard Hats

Since the top of your head is exposed to more danger than the rest of your body, and it’s the most sensitive and susceptible to injury, a hard hat is often a regulated safety requirement in many occupations. If you work in an environment that has safety hat regulations, one of the phenolic hard hats offered by your employer should be worn at all times. You’re likely to see coworkers wearing one if they handle harmful chemicals, are removing asbestos, are often in the nuclear section of your company, lift or place heavy equipment, or if you spend time in an area where debris often falls. A few of the other occupations that might require these hard hats are electricians, construction workers, welders, and those who work with explosive.

Different Types Of Phenolic Hats

Depending on your employer, field protocol, and occupation, you could see specific phenolic hard hats around your area. They may have different shapes or designs, features, colors, and coating material to match the safety that’s needed.

One example of a phenolic hard hat is the MSA Skullguard Class G, Type I

Your workplace safety is only as good as the safety equipment you use and wear. While plastic hard hats seem to be the standard for people who have limited exposure to harsh elements, phenolic hard hats are better suited for you if you work in environments where you will be exposed to dangerous elements like extreme heat or fire, chemicals or substances, or falling debris that could puncture on impact.