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Hard Hat Industry StandardsIndustry Standards |

OSHA Approved Hard Hats & Requirements 

All OSHA-approved hard hats are required to meet two governing standards from the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and come equipped with proper labels that detail important specs and safety information. 

  • OSHA 1910.135: hard hats must comply with ANSI Z89.1-2009 that states all industrial helmets must meet standard performance and testing requirements for lateral impact and top impact. 
  • OSHA 1926.100: hard hats must comply with ANSI Z89.1-2009 that states all industrial helmets must provide protection from high-voltage electric shock and burns. 
  • Canadian Standards Association (CSA): all hard hats must include labels that list Manufacturer, Model, Type, Class, Reverse Orientation Mark, Manufacture Date, Size/Size Range and User Warnings.

What Are Hard Hat Type Ratings?

There are two hard hat type ratings defined by ANSI Z89.1-2009. Each type is graded to protect construction workers from impacts to head in different locations. 

  • Type 1 hard hats are tested to reduce the impact from a blow to the top of the head. 
    CSA: Helmet protects the crown of the head only. 
  • Type 2 hard hats are tested to reduce the impact from a blow to the top, back and sides of head. 
    CSA: Helmets protect against blows to the crown and or/laterally to the head.

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What Are the Different Hard Hat Classes?

All graphic hard hats have been divided into three classifications as defined by ANSI Z89.1-2009. Each class is graded to protect laborers from different levels of electrical shock and burns. 

  • Class E (electrical) hard hats are tested to withstand 20,000 volts and they provide the greatest protection against electrical shock and burns. 
  • Class G (general) hard hats are tested at 2,200 volts and they reduce exposure to low-voltage conductors.
  • Class C (conductive) hard hats provide no electrical protection and are not meant to be worn in areas where electrical hazards are present.

According to MSA Safety, "Look at Class this way: Electrical workers are more at risk from high voltage electrical hazards and should use Class E hard hats. General construction workers, who may come in contact with low voltage hazards should use a Class G hard hat, at minimum. Workers proven to be without the possibility of electrical hazard contact can use a potentially conductive Class C hard hat."

For other Safety Tips and Regulations, Visit: Sun Damage, Expiration & Manufactured Dates, & more about Ratings


What Types & Classes of Hard Hat Are Available at

Most of our branded hard hats are Type 1 rated with class E electrical protection, with the exception of the MSA V-Gard 500 ventilated hard hats. The vent holes make them potentially conductive, giving them a class C rating. The ERB Bump Cap is not rated as a hard hat. It provides some protection from everyday bumps to the head, but isn't suitable where an ANSI-certified hard hat is needed. Consult the table below to find the model of hard hat that provides the protection you're looking for:

Hard Hats Type Class
V-Gard® (MSA): Full Brim or Standard 1 E
V-Gard 500 Cap® (MSA) 1 C
Skullgard® (MSA) 1 E
Omega II (ERB Industries): Full Brim or Standard 1 E
Liberty (ERB Industries) 1 E
Americana (ERB Industries) 1 E
Bump Cap Not Rated Not Rated
Fibre-Metal®  1 E
Cowboy (Jackson Safety) 1 E
Freedom Series™ (MSA) 1 E


All hard hats meet or exceed the applicable requirements for Type I helmet (top impact) as outlined in ANSI Z89.1 2009 and meet or exceed OSHA requirements, with the exception of the Bump Cap.

Western Outlaw™, and Fas-Trac™ are registered trademarks of American Allsafe Company - Irving, TX.

V-Gard 500®, Freedom Series™, Skullgard®, and V-Gard® are registered trademarks of Mine Safety Appliances Company (MSA) - Pennsylvania.

Fibre-Metal® is a registered trademark of the Fibre-Metal Products Company - Concordville, PA.