Selecting the right hard hat for roofing is not as simple as picking up the first bright yellow one you find. There are numerous considerations to be had and in order to minimize injury, you need to know what to look for that is specific to your industry.
Miners, firefighters, welders, plumbers, and, yes, roofing contractors – they all require specific types of hard hats. In choosing the best hard hat for you and your professional roofing company, here’s what to keep in mind.
Consider the hazards of a roofing environment
As with any contractor who requires a hard hat, the environment around them matters. The hard hats you choose for a roofing environment needs to work best under a range of different weather conditions. Identify where hazards could present themselves.
Type I or Type II hard hats; selecting the right rating
Hard hat ratings are set by the American National Standards Institute (ANSI). There are two types. There’s Type I hard hats which are designed to protect against falling objects. Then, there’s Type II which are meant to protect from blows not only from above but also on the sides and the front as well. In terms of roofing, Type II hard hats offer more protection than Type I and are therefore recommended.
Material used to make a hard hat
Though plastic is the most common material hard hats are made from, a variety of materials may be used. Depending on the industry and work environment, different materials may be more recommended that others.
Suspension systems are important
When it comes to selecting the right hard hat for a roofing environment, the suspension mechanism does factor in. There are two different types of suspension systems. Pin-lock suspension uses a system whereby a pin needs to be locked in to an appropriate hole, similar to a belt. Meanwhile, the ratchet suspension system uses a quick ratchet-adjusting knob to do the trick.
4, 6 or 8 suspension points
The more suspension points a hard hat’s design incorporates, the more it will be able to spread out the force of an impact. In terms of roofing, 6-8 suspension points make sense as you want as much protection as possible in the event of a fall.
Flexibility to wear it backwards
The flexibility to wear a hard hat multiple ways might be something some roofers enjoy. For some jobs, being able to wear it backwards serves a purpose. If you do choose a hard hat with this level of flexibility, ensure the model you choose is capable of adequate protection in this configuration.
Considering any additional features
In recent years, the hard hat industry has seen a growing number of brands and hard hat types make their way to market. There are many now that offer additional features such as vents to keep the head cool, terry cloth included, winter liners to insulate the head, and vinyl brow pads to keep sweat from getting into the eyes. Depending on the roofing work you’re involved in, you may wish to seek out a specific hard hat with the features you desire.