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When it comes to safety in an industrial area, a factory or a construction site, a helmet is essential. These are also called ‘hard hats’ and they are designed differently from the ones worn by motorcyclists. Hard hats are ‘safety helmets’ that have a more open design and they cover only the top area of one’s head. They are most often yellow in colour and provide one’s head with a hard shell-like protection. This protects the wearer from the blow that he or she would receive if something heavy accidentally knocked into them or fell on them. These helmets come equipped with a mid-line reinforcement ridge and this improves the impact resistance of the helmet. It is designed to reduce the amount of impact on the skull.
A Bump cap
A variation of these helmets is the ‘bump cap.’ These are more lightweight and are primarily used when the wearer wants to protect himself or herself from scraping or bumping one’s head against equipment or protruding structures. These caps use a more simplified design than hard hats. They have a simple padding and a chin strap.
While it is unsure who developed the first safety helmet, a popular claim has been made by a management professor called Peter Drucker. He gave credit to writer Franz Kafka with designing the first hard hat. He is said the writer developed it while working at the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute in Bohemia (1912).
Commonly Used Material
Before safety helmets were developed, workers used to use tar to protect their heads from accidental impacts. Hard hats were originally made from metal and fiberglass. Later they began making them from rigid plastic.
Newer designs of hard hats have provision to allow rain water to run off via the hat’s bill rather than from the back (and down the wearer’s neck).
A safety helmet can be fitted with a safety visor or a welding visor, a wide brim to provide additional shade from the sun, ear protectors and mirrors (which can be useful in a construction site to view different angles). They can also be fitted with a chinstrap or a headlamp. Insulation-related padding that will keep the wearer warm.