One of the most common pieces of safety equipment on a construction site is a hard hat. Everyone wears them, even those who are just visiting or supervising.
Hard hats serve the distinct purpose of protecting your head from many hazards. According to the University of Iowa, the main protection it offers is absorbing impact from something hitting your head. The internal suspension unit helps with absorbing the impact as does the hard shell. There are different types and classes of hard hats that may offer specialized protections.
The general class of hard hats offers basic shock absorption protection and direct protection from anything that falls on your head. Class G hard hats have additional protection against low voltage electrical shocks. This is protection up to 2,200 volts. Class E hard hats offer more electrical protection, This class is generally for use in utility services where electrical shock is a great danger. They protect for up to 20,000 volts.
The type of hard hat you have will be in addition to the class of hard hat you have. There are two types: 1 and 2. So, you will have either a type 1 or 2 hat that has a class label as well, such as type 1 class E.
Type 1 has a design that protects you from the force of an impact to the top of your head. The design of a type 2 hard hat protects you from the force of an impact to the top of your head but also to the sides of your head.