Keeping Warm Under Your Hard Hat

Keeping Warm Under Your Hard Hat

17th February 2016

We’re currently facing the coldest times of the year here in the UK and many of us working in the construction industry are working outside in all kinds of inclement weather.  This means that we need to find effective ways of keeping warm whilst at work and wearing nice, thick, winter clothing may seem like the best way of doing that.  Keeping your head warm is essential in winter as we tend to lose most of our body heat through our heads so it’s great to wear a beanie hat or pull the hood up on our hoodies.  However, what about when we need to wear a hard hat or safety helmet?  There’s a temptation to just plonk the hard hat on top of whatever we’re already wearing to keep our heads warm.  That’s a recipe for disaster!

Wearing a hood or beanie hat under an industrial safety helmet compromises the fit of the helmet so it’s no longer offering the right level of protection.  Furthermore, once the fit of the hard hat has been compromised, the hat’s likely to fall off and this can have serious repercussions for others, especially if you’re working at height and the helmet has a long fall.  Once the helmet has fallen from a height, it’s no longer suitable for use and will need to be replaced forthwith.  A safety helmet is designed to withstand one single life-saving impact and any significant knock will compromise its effectiveness so it will need to be replaced immediately.  Wearing anything under a safety helmet means that it cannot be fitted, adjusted or worn to the manufacturer’s safety requirements. 

Wearing a beanie under a hard hat mostly affects the fit of the safety hat but wearing a hood under a hard hat bring other problems.  If the hard hat falls off due to the hood, it leaves the wearer in danger of a blow to the head and if the hard hat falls, anybody below is in danger of being hit by it.  However, having a hood pulled up will also narrow the wearer’s field of vision quite significantly which will increase the likelihood of other dangers such as collisions with machinery.

Anybody tempted to wear a baseball cap under a hard hat should take note that many caps feature a metal button which could increase the possibility of an electrical current passing through the shell of the safety helmet.

The UK’s Health and Safety Executive (HSE) recommends that head protection should:

  • Be in good condition – it is damaged or has suffered a knock, throw it away and replace it.
  • Fit the person wearing it and be worn properly
  • Not stop the user from wearing hearing protectors as well when necessary.
  • Only be obtained from a reputable supplier – there are fake hard hats on the market and these must be avoided.

If you’re left wondering just what you can do to keep your head warm when working in a hard hat, don’t despair.  There are manufacturer-approved head warmers available that can safely be worn under a hard hat and will ensure that you still get a good fit for your safety helmet without compromising its effectiveness.