Bump Caps are lightweight head protection devices designed to guard the wearer from specific hazards that can cause certain non-serious injuries. They are ideal in locations where hard hats are not required but mild head injuries could still occur. Work areas that have obstructions like protruding beams, pipes, or low hanging hazards are often suitable locations for a bump cap. Due to these lower protection standards, bump caps are not certified per ANSI Z89.1 and are not required by OSHA.
Bump Cap Materials
Bump caps are manufactured in a variety of styles depending on the needs of the user. In most instances they are lighter, more ventilated, and more comfortable than a standard hard hat. The materials below are most often used in manufacturing.
HDPE Bump Caps – HDPE resins are inexpensive, chemical resistant, and provide superior moisture barriers. Once molded, HDPE is a rigid plastic that will provide impact protection. Bump caps will usually use a lighter HDPE resin. That, along with a weaker suspension system, makes them less able to take larger impacts.
LDPE Bump Caps – LDPE is comparable to HDPE in composition but a bit more flexible and less resistant to chemicals. Bump caps manufactured with LDPE have a little more give, making them even less able to protect against impacts.
Overall, bump caps are a good choice if you need to protect a user’s head from abrasions, cuts, and bruises. They should not be used to replace the hard hat since they do not meet ANSI or OSHA standards for head protection.