We’ve done a couple blogs about hard hats already starting with who invented the hard hat for use as work PPE and there's also a blog about the KARBN hard hat by Klein. Today, however, we’re excited to announce that we have just expanded and now carry 3M hard hats as well. This is great news because it gives you more options to choose from when you’re in need of a new hard - and best of all 3M hard hats are a great option if you need dependable, general protection on a budget. At present there are two main styles, the H-700 series which is a cap style hard hat and the H-800 series which is a full brim, and that’s really the two main differences as each hard hat has access to a variety of features as will be outlined below. Within each of these two broad categories, there a literally dozens of options when you start factoring in what color you want and which features you'd like to add.
The part numbers for both series are as easy to figure out despite looking tricky at first glance. Each style will start with an “H-7” or an “H-8” depending on which of the two series you’re looking for. The rest of the part number, 01 – 013 denotes the color and that number seems to apply consistently across the board, though it’s not worth breaking down here. After the number, you’ll see one of several letters. The basic hats of the 700 series will end in either “R” or “P” and this denotes the suspension, R denotes 4-point ratchet suspension and P denotes 4-point Pinlock suspension. The rest of the hard hats in the H-700 series that have extra features and the entire H-800 series all feature ratchet suspension.
The suspension of your hard hat is the key to making sure you’re wearing it consistently and properly. Pinlock is exactly what it sounds like, you set the size for your head by using a pin for the correct hole the way you would a baseball hat. Ratchet suspension, on the other hand, adjusts the hard hat to your head by means of a wheel/knob on the back of the hard hat that allows adjusting with only one hand.
Other letters to look out for in the part number that clue you in to features would be the letter V which is for “vented” and UV which means it comes with 3M’s Uvicator sensor. 3M’s Uvicator sensor changes color over time with exposure to the UV light of Earth’s yellow sun and once it’s completely changed it’s an indication that the hard hat may be brittle due to too much UV radiation. In short, time to get a new one. Venting of course makes a hard hat cooler to wear but also limits the number of hazards the hard hat can protect against. For example, vented hard hats do not protect against electrical hazards.
One of the options available for select 3M hard hats is the option to get them in high visibility orange and high visibility yellow. These options are their own unique colors and includes 3M’s Scotchlite Reflective material which will reflect light and add an extra layer of safety in low light conditions.
Should you need it, there are also replacement parts in the form of replacement suspension systems and replacement brow pads.
To get technical for a moment, the non-vented hard hats meet ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009 Type I, Class C, G, and E requirements, the vented conform to ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009 Type I Class C requirements and the high visibility meet ANSI Z89.1-2009 High-Visibility requirements which of course means you have some choices with the level of safety you get with your hard hat.
With two styles of hard hats – standard and full brim you get access to quite a range of features that balance safety with comfort and style with a full range of colors. If you need a hard hat for work 3M hard hats offer you many options at a very reasonable price.