The head is one of the most delicate and fragile parts of the human body.

Various external physical factors can damage not only the skin and bones, but also and above all the brain with its vital functions. The head is exposed to various risks that can be divided into five groups:

  1. Mechanical risks (falling objects, suspended loads, impacts)
  2. Chemical Risks (sprays of chemical liquids)
  3. Thermal Risks (splash of molten metal, sparks, thermal radiation, hot liquids, atmospheric conditions)
  4. Optical risks (UV radiation)
  5. Electric Rishis (disturbing electric arcs)

How can we protect our heads at work to protect ourselves from these risks, which can also cause permanent damage? we can use different types of PPE for the head and for the face.

The choice of PPE for the head must be evaluated on the basis of the work to be performed.

If a head protection device were chosen on the basis of risks that were not correctly assessed or were used not following the manufacturer's instructions and the markings, its use would be in vain.

The one who has the task of proceeding with the risk assessment is the employer, who must then implement the safety measures necessary to eliminate or at least mitigate them. In the event that this is not possible or insufficient, the use of protective helmets and hard hats for work is mandatory.


Head protectors must comply with the following standards:

EN 397 Protective helmets in industry

EN 14052 High performance helmets for industry

EN 443 Helmets for firefighting in buildings and other structures

EN 812 Impact resistant headgear for industry

EN 12492 Helmets for mountaineers


Protective helmets

There are three different types of helmets:

straight (1)

straight with drainer (2)

straight with lowered nape protector and drip (3)

Protective helmets are made of thermoplastic or thermosetting plastic, and each of them has different properties and fields of application in construction, industry, work environments with high temperatures and in electrical engineering.

Labeling of safety helmets:

Immagine tratta dal Hoffmann Italy catalogue

  1. Initials "CE"
  2. 4-digit identification number of the notified body
  3. Manufacturer identification
  4. Year and quarter of production
  5. Manufacturer's type designation
  6. Applied legislation
  7. Material used for the helmet
  8. Dimensions or range of dimensions in cm

Additional labeling according to DIN EN 397

  • LD (Lateral Deformation - lateral deformation): danger caused by lateral loading
  • MM (Molten Metal - molten metal): danger caused by splashes of molten metal
  • 440 V AC Danger through accidental brief contact with AC voltage up to 440 V
  • + 150 °C use with very high temperatures
  • −20 °C or −30 °C use in very low temperatures


Face protection is particularly important if you come into contact with fast flying particles, metal splashes, chemicals or disturbing arcs while working.

These devices consist of a transparent protective visor that can be attached directly to a helmet or other head support.


The shape of the bump caps is inspired by baseball caps. With their plastic insert, they offer light protection for the head, for example against inanimate pointed objects. They must not be used in place of industrial protective helmets.


Welding carries risks including very high temperatures that employees must protect themselves from.

The welding mask fully protects the head and face from radiation, heat and sparks. Thanks to the integrated visor with welding filter, the worker can see his workstation. Modern automatic welding masks are also equipped with different levels of darkness, which allow you to perform different types of welding. Fire retardant cotton caps or ear muffs may be worn under the mask.


PPE must be chosen on the basis of the dangers that may arise in the workplace, bearing in mind that they must be comfortable and easy to use without bothering or limiting the person working too much.

Other important criteria for effective head protection:

  • puncture resistance
  • shock absorption
  • chin strap adjustment (if available) for a secure hold of the helmet
  • comfort: adaptability of the protective device to the size of the head, low weight, protection from rain and humidity.

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