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.

Chin Straps

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)

Size range

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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