The advantages of vented hard hats are numerous. When working in any construction site that requires you to physically strain yourself in a hot or humid environment, keeping yourself cool and well-hydrated is of the utmost importance. It comes second, right after safety.
Plus, a big part of keeping someone safe is to keep them comfortable, and this is especially true for construction workers. You never want workers handling dangerous tools to be distracted on the job because they are constantly trying to get cool.
In this article, we will go over all of the benefits of wearing vented hard hats while on the job. While these benefits might be fairly obvious to most of our readers, we want to outline them clearly so that everybody understands what they might be missing out on.
Understanding Vented Hard Hats and What They Can Do
At their core, vented hard hats are simply regular hard hats that have been provided with a vent or slit for additional airflow. This allows construction workers or workers in general to have a nice breeze blowing through their safety equipment while remaining safe and secure on the job.
The benefits of vented hard hats are fairly obvious: they keep people safe while providing added comfort on the job. This makes them a highly-valued commodity in any kind of construction job that takes place where it’s warm.
Things that you should keep in mind about vented hard hats include their limitations. For example, you won’t want to wear vented hard hats in any sort of area with electrical hazards, as they don’t offer the same degree of head protection that you could expect from traditional hard hats. You need to keep this in mind if you aren’t sure what kind of hard hat you should be wearing.
If you’re working with electrical hazards, a vented hard hat might not be right for you. Only non-vented hard hats can provide electrical protection and attain the Class E standard for additional protection required by hard hats for electricians and other electrical workers.
Identifying Work Environments that Require Vented Hard Hats
Vented hard hats are useful in all kinds of work environments. While we identified them as beneficial in any hot or humid work setting, let’s get a little more specific.
Construction sites are the first work locations that come to mind when discussing hard hats and the benefits of vented hard hats in particular. Construction sites can easily become sweltering because they are often in areas without air conditioning or ventilation. They are also filled to the brim with asphalt, concrete, and pavement.
These materials absorb heat like there’s no tomorrow, making them an even hotter location than the rest of their surroundings. Plus, all sorts of strenuous physical activity need to take place. If you’re a construction worker and you find yourself working in an environment like the one we just described, then we recommend you get yourself a vented hard hat to help ease some of your discomfort while working.
Agriculture and landscaping are another work environment that almost necessitates a vented hard hat. These types of workplaces are some of the most exposed to sunlight and humidity. Depending on the job, you’re much more likely to be in a humid environment because of all the plant life you’ll be around.
Plants contain a high moisture level, and they tend to make the air around them much more humid in general. This is due to a process called evapotranspiration.
Considerations When Shopping for a Vented Hard Hat
There’s plenty to remember when shopping for a vented hard hat for yourself. Its fit should be your priority once you’ve identified it as a product with a legitimate safety rating. For peace of mind, it’s best to shop from a reputable vendor. However, assuming everything is in its proper place, let’s talk about fit.
How do you know when a hard hat fits correctly? Well, it should be snug and feel like it’s not going anywhere. Construction jobs generally require a high degree of mobility from their workers, so make sure you can move freely with your hard hat on without it slipping around.
Another thing to keep in mind is accessorization. Equipping your hard hat with various hard hat accessories, including headlamps, visors, face protection, hearing protection, safety glasses, and more, is possible.
There are a ton of different hard hat accessories that you use if your helmet is equipped with the capability, so keep that in mind if you’re really on the hunt for a hard hat that will fulfill all of your needs regardless of what situation you’re in.
Certain hard hats will also offer a different degree of ventilation. A hard hat might have a bigger shaft or slit or more holes than another, so keep in mind different amounts of ventilation and how cool you’re likely to be while wearing them. The environment you find yourself in can significantly affect the cooling factor’s significance.
Let’s also discuss materials and overall durability. You should always keep strength in mind when shopping for a hard hat. You obviously want a piece of safety equipment that will offer you the most protection possible while remaining as comfortable as possible.
However, you should not sacrifice the quality of make or overall safety because you’re searching for increased ventilation. The helmet still needs to be able to do its job of protecting your head.
Materials play a significant role in a vented hard hat’s overall safety classification and the degree of protection offered. Carbon fiber is a popular material for many hard hats. This lightweight material is easy to wear and very strong, making it a favorite for all safety products and gear.
If you’re at a loss as to what type of material your vented hard hat should be made from, consider carbon fiber as your material of choice.
Best Practices for Wearing and Maintaining a Vented Hard Hat
When you find yourself wearing a vented hard hat, there are some things you will need to keep in mind. First, you always want to ensure that your hard hat snugly fits your head. You don’t want to risk having it slip off when you’re engaged in dangerous work. If there are any chin straps, then we recommend wearing them constantly.
Before wearing your hard hat, make sure that you make any necessary adjustments. Before taking off your hard hat on a work site, ensure you’re in a safe and secure area so that you aren’t risking anything by taking the hard hat off.
You will also want to take care of your vented hard hat. Try to ensure it doesn’t receive any hard knocks on the job. While it is intended to take a few of these in service of your skull, don’t expose your hard hat to potential damage.
That means don’t toss it around, use it as a hammer, or anything else that might damage it. You’d be surprised about the type of shenanigans people get up to on the job, but these are legitimate things to avoid.
Finally, we encourage you to inspect your vented hard hat for signs of damage regularly. If you notice any sign of damage, it might be time for you to get a replacement. Damage can include noticeable dents and scratches or cracks in the material. Look especially around any ventilation, as these areas are most vulnerable to damage.
Finding the Best Vented Hard Hat
We hope this guide is useful to you when searching out a vented hard hat for yourself. New safety equipment is being developed every day for workers around the world, but it’s up to the experts to determine what’s safe and what isn’t.
Thankfully for workers who must wear equipment in hot and humid environments, vented hard hats are safe, as long as they’re treated properly and worn with proper care and attention. We hope you’re a bit more educated on vented hard hats now and will feel more confident when seeking out this equipment for yourself.