Are you wearing the correct Hard Hat ?

    Hard Hat


    One of the key elements when working at height is having the correct tools and Personal Protection Equipment to do our job. The Health & Safety Executive guidelines states that your employer has a legal obligation to supply you with correct Personal Protection Equipment.

    No side impact protection..

    It has come to my attention that for many years on the tools I have been wearing the incorrect type of hard hat for working at height tasks. While on a working at height course which I sat recently the tutor informed the class that the V-Guard hard hat which most scaffolders are supplied with offers no side impact protection when working aloft.

    The company that provided the course are also a very big firm for on-shore and offshore access work. The tutor then went on to tell us that all of their scaffolders wear the Petzl climbing helmet or the W@H V-guard as these offer all round protection to the head. With me knowing scaffolders who work for this firm I realised this was not the case. The guys I know are wearing the peak less V-guard hard hat suitable only for ground or deck operations. Although they did mention that for a while they did adopt the Petzl climbing helmet but it was ruled out due to preference.

    The Question Is..

    If we as scaffolders continue to wear the wrong type of hard hat are we covered by the company insurance policy?  Because we are in breach of this HSE guideline (use the correct tools and PPE for the task you are undertaking).

    We would like to hear from our readers what your take is on this. Do you wear climbing helmets? Does your company supply you with the correct PPE and do you think we all should wear the correct Hard Hat. Because at the end of the day we only have one head!

    By Lloyd McKenzie.



    1. James O’Neill
      I work for Stork Technical Services (RBG) and have recently been suspended for wearing a Petzel W@H helmet, although back at work now it is only because I reluctantly agreed to wear a v-guard even though I gave the company documentation regarding the PPE regs: 4,5, and 6. I have since been told that only absailers wear these type of helmets, scaffolders (who w@h) must follow company policy and wear a V-Guard which as you state does not give 100% all round protection. The HSE should change the wording in the regulations to all personnel who w@h must wear a petzel vertex best helmet, then company’s who do not allow workers a choice will have to comply

    2. Iam sorry to say , the answer is in the question you have posted , in your risk assessment for what ever task you are ask to under take it will at some point say CORRECT PPE therefore if you are not wearing the correct ppe for the task which your company must supply under the 1974 health and safety at work act ( it shall be the duty of every employer to ensure , so far as is reasonably , the health and safety and welfare at work of all their employees, and futher on to supply the correct ppe ,etc, but under the same LAW you as the employee have a DUTY to wear the correct ppe and not to intentionally or recklessly interfere with or misuse anything provided in the intrerests of health , safety and welfare .

    3. hi i work offshore  for cape , and see  the use of both helmets regularly , The petzl , is used mainly by absailers , and looks really flimsy  .is it tested to the same standards as the v  guard ?