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Safety Cap Testing, ANSI Z89.1-2009

 

Safety Helmet Types and Classes

In this discussion we will be using the terms Safety Caps, Hard Hats and Safety Helmets interchangeably. End users and buyers of safety helmets must decide if they need top impact only or if they need both top and side impact protection. Users must also decide if they require protection from electrical shock hazards.

Below is a brief outline of different Types and Classes of safety helmets.

Helmet Type I: A helmet of Type I is designed to provide crown (top) impact protection. It is not intended to provide impact from lateral (side) impacts. (This is by far the most commonly used type of hard hat in use.)

Helmet Type II: A helmet of Type II is designed to provide protection against both top and side impacts.

Helmet Class E: Class E stands for Electrical, and this Class of helmet is intended to reduce the danger of high voltage conductors. Class E helmets are  tested to 20,000 Volts. See details below. 

Helmet Class G: Class G stands for General and this class is only tested to 2,200 Volts.

Helmets Class C: Class C stands for Conductive, and this class is not intended to provide protection from electrical conductors, and are not tested  for electrical resistance.

Observe that a Class E helmet meets the requirements of Class G and Class C.

Elvex SC-50, Type I, Class E

 
 

 ANSI Z89.1-2009 Requirements

This is a summary, and it is not intended to be a complete!

Requirement Tests Performed

Flammability

Tests apply to Type I and Type II helmets
  • Laboratory stand must hold helmet in "as worn" position, inside a draft free fume hood.
  • Apply flame for 5 seconds at  800 - 900° C (1472° - 1652° F) to the outside of the shell, above static test line (STL).
  • No visible flame shall be present on test sample 5 seconds after removal of flame.

Force Transmission

(Impact)

 

Tests apply to Type I and Type II helmets
  • 12 hot conditioned samples and 12 cold conditioned samples are subjected to an impactor, that yields an impact velocity of 5.50 m/s (18 ft/s). The impactor must have a mass of 3.6 kg (8 lb)
  • The individual and average force readings for all 24 test samples shall be recorded along with the impact velocities.
  • The average values for transmission force shall not exceed 3780 N (850 lbf).

Apex Penetration

Tests apply to Type I and Type II helmets
  • Test samples are positioned on the test stand in an "as worn" position
  • The penetrator must strike the helmets perpendicularly anywhere within a 75 mm (3.0 in) circle about the apex of the helmet.
  • The penetrator shall have a mass of 1.0 kg (2.2 lb), and shall be dropped from a height that yields an impact velocity of 7.0 m/s (23 ft/s).
  • The penetrator shall not make contact with the test headform under any of the test conditions specified.

Electrical Insulation

Tests apply to Type I and Type II helmets
  • Class E (Electrical) helmets intended to reduce the danger of exposure to high voltage electrical conductors, proof tested at 20,000 volts. Class E is tested for force transmission first, then tested at 20,000 volts for 3 minutes, with 9 milliamps maximum current leakage; then tested at 30,000 volts, with no burn-through permitted.
  • Class G (General) helmets intended to reduce the danger of exposure to low voltage electrical conductors, proof tested at 2,200 volts. Class G is tested at 2,200 volts for 1 minute, with 3 milliamps max. leakage.
  • Class C (Conductive) helmets are not tested for electrical resistance.

Impact Energy Attenuation

Tests apply only to Type II helmets

Off center penetration

Tests apply only to Type II helmets

Chin strap retention

Tests apply only to Type II helmets

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