safety helmet

How to fully understand and use protective headgear


Regardless of the type of safety headgear (construction safety helmet, welding helmet, miner's hard hats, etc.), it is essential to always be attentive to its effectiveness. Many elements can cause damage to your head protection equipment and the following paragraphs will enlighten you on the subject.

Did you know? 🤔

There were more than 27,200 lost-time accidents in 2022 in Canada related to head injuries. This represents 7.8% of all accidents in Canada this year.

When should you wear protective headgear?

Let’s start with that classic question about when you’re required to wear your hard hat. Canada’s Occupational Health and Safety Regulations (SOR/86-304) stipulate that employers must ensure that workers wear safety helmets when there is a risk of head injury. The headgear must comply with CSA standard Z94.1.

In addition, each province and territory has its own occupational health and safety legislation, which may include specific requirements for the wearing of protective headgear.

In Quebec, for example, CSA Z94.1-compliant safety helmets must be worn by anyone working on a construction site or in a mine or by any worker at risk of head injury.

To discover our different models of safety hard hats for you and your team, click here!

Finding the right size

The size chart corresponds to the inner circumference of the hard hat related to head dimension. The space between the top of the head and the shell is a shock-absorption system protecting against possible impacts.


The tightening can be adjusted via a ratchet integrated in the helmet. It is important to tighten the helmet securely to ensure a comfortable fit. If the helmet causes you discomfort or irritation, this is usually an indication that the tightness should be loosened slightly.

The neck and crown straps must be adjusted, so the brim is not pointing upward. Avoid wearing a cap under it or place the neck strap on the front for inverted hard hats.

Please note that caps and winter cold protection items (toque, hat, etc.) may interfere with the suspension system.

Care and maintenance

Use mild soap when cleaning safety hard hats (avoid solvents, abrasives or petroleum-based products) and air dry without applying heat.

Hard hats hit by an object must be replaced, even if they don’t show signs of damage. The use of hair products, hair oils, insecticides, and even sweat can affect suspension components.

How do you know if a hard hat is still good for use?

To ensure the protective effectiveness of your safety headgear, perform a visual inspection to detect any signs of excessive wear, damage or deformation. Also check the interior suspension and straps for any damage.

Check the manufacturing date. A hard hat has a life expectancy of about 5 to 10 years. Replace it if it is more than 10 years old, even if it has not been damaged.

Do you have any questions? Our experts can help!

Precautions to take

  • Do not insert anything between the suspension system and the shell. Avoid painting components or drill holes into the shell. Do not keep the hard hat in the car where there is a risk of overexposure to the sun. Heat and UV radiation can damage the headgear’s protective shell, reducing its effectiveness.
  • Every day inspect the condition, color and finish of safety hard hats to detect cracks, bumps, cuts, notches, as well as signs of wear or extended exposure to heat and sunlight.
  • Inspect the straps and webbing of the suspension system daily. If a Type 2 hard hat has damaged foam lining, the entire hard hat must be replaced.
  • For high-visibility needs, consult CSA Z96 for requirements.

Choose your protection according to your tasks

Based on the type of work you need to perform, it’s crucial to select the right safety hard hat for the job. To this end, the CSA-Z94.1 standard gives us a little more information on the subject:

Type 1: Offers protection against impact and penetration of objects on the top of the head only.

Type 2: Offers the same impact protection, but object penetration protection now covers the back, sides and top of the head.

Both types also offer an additional protection class: 

Class E: Provides protection against high-voltage electrical conductors (rated current 20,000V)

Class G: Provides protection against low-voltage electrical conductors (rated current 2,200 V)

Class C: Provides no protection against electric shocks.

To learn more about the different types of helmets and their specifics, click here!

To find out about the standard’s requirements or get your equipment evaluated, don’t hesitate to contact one of our specialists.

Find your next safety headgear that meets the highest Canadian safety standards here!