Hard hat accessories are designed to give the user increased comfort as well as the freedom to amplify the safety of a standard hard hat. Most of the hard hats on the market today are manufactured with this increased functionality which allows the user to add additional equipment based on their particular environment. Below are a few of the modern hard hat accessories:
Hard Hat Lights – Offer users the protection of a hard hat, with the advantage of increased illumination. Adding lights to a hard hat frees your hands and allows you to work more efficiently. Most of the lights designed for hard hats are weather resistant LEDs that run on standard NiCad batteries. They come with adjustable straps that can be fitted easily to almost any hard hat.
Hard Hat Face Shields – A face shield is a type of personal protection equipment that can be attached to certain styles of hard hats to protect the entire face from airborne debris. The combination of safety glasses/goggles and a face shield will provide the recommended amount of protection as seen by OSHA. The face shield is typically made from a blend of tinted or transparent polycarbonate or acetate in a variety of shapes and sizes.
Hard Hat Ear Muffs & Hearing Protection – Hearing protection can be attached to certain types of slotted hard hats to protect the hearing of the user. When noise exceeds 100 dBA, this additional protection is required and is seen as an upgrade over standard ear plugs.
Hard Hat Cooling – Pads and liners are a convenient way to keep cool in the summer heat. They provide shade to the back of the neck which facilitates perspiration and evaporation. New cooling technologies are also available that incorporate reusable cooling crystals that activate when soaked in cool water.
Hard Hat Heating – Liners made of multiple layers of wool and fleece are the most used heating accessory. Most liners fit around the head with additional measures, in some designs, to protect the neck and face. Wool and fleece liners are extremely effective against moisture making them more effective than their cotton based counterparts.
Hard Hat Suspension Replacements – The suspensions on hard hats will often lose its protective properties over time due to normal wear and tear. Extreme temperatures, chemicals, and even the oil in your skin can cause a hard hat suspension to break down. It is recommended that you replace the suspension at least once a year. Newer suspension systems offer padding as well as built in cooling.
Hard Hat Chin Straps – If you work in windy conditions, a chin strap will keep your hard hat firmly in place at all times. A good chin strap will allow for easy adjustments and are often made of contoured plastic for comfort.
Hard Had Reflective Stickers/Decals – These high visibility decals can be added to either side of the hard hat so the user will be visible at night or in low light conditions. These stickers will reflect most light back to the source so workers can be easily spotted. They are often UV and weather resistant.
Hard Hat Goggle Retainers – This accessory will hold your goggles securely on your hard hat when not in use and hold them securely in place when they are. This is a convenient feature when head and eye protection is a necessity.
Many of the top hard hat brands manufacture accessories that will complement your current hard hat. Some of these companies include: Fibre Metal, MSA, North Safety, Radians, Jackson Safety, and OccuNomix to name just a few. It’s usually easier to stick with the same brand when it comes to accessories but in some circumstances you’ll be able to mix and match.