SAFETY HELMET STANDARDS EN397
Safety Helmets or Hard Hats are required to pass certain tests to ensure they are fit for purpose. Industrial helmets are designed to give protection against Impact, Penetration and offer Shock Absorption
Impact / Shock Absorption
The test centres have a piece of kit that performs this test.
The helmet is placed on a head shaped mould, which has load detectors on it,
the 5KG rounded striker is dropped on to the hard hat from a height of 1 metre, the load cell
will record the force transmitted through the safety helmet, for the helmet to pass, the force
must not exceed 5kN. The test is done several times and includes high and low temperatures, as well
as helmet samples that have been immersed in water and exposed to UV rays.
This is a similar test, but the domed weight is replaced with a pointed 3KG weight.
If the point penetrates the helmet, it fails.
For a Hard Hat to do its job, it has to stay on the head,
usually the size adjuster will be adequate, some tasks will require a chin strap to keep the helmet in place.
All helmets conforming to EN397 must have chin strap anchorage points.
EN397 Industrial Safety helmets with a chin strap must release when force is applied (150-250N)
this is to ensure the helmet doesn't strangle the wearer. Unlike Climbing helmets conforming to EN12492
where the chinstrap is tested not to break or release.
Each Hard Hat must have the following information marked on it:
European Standard. (EN 397:2012);
Manufacturers name or logo
Date of manufacture
Model number or name (on the helmet & the harness)
Shell material e.g. ABS, PC, HDPE
There are further tests which can be done to Industrial safety helmets
which might be useful for other hazards in the workplace, these are the following
and the helmet will be stamped with the relevant markings:
-20 C or -30 C - tested at very low temperature.
+150 C - tested at high temperature
440 V a.c. - tested for electrical insulation
LD - tested for lateral deformation
MM - resists molten metal splash
F -resistant to flame
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