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work at height hard hats

#1 User is offline   brownie 

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 07:47 PM

I currently have a petzl Ecrin rock helmet, This does not appear on the "work" section of the petzl website, I have noticed many riggers using this model of helmet over the vertex models. Does anyone know if the Ecrin Rock actually meets regs for the purposes of rigging, mainly for protection when working on the deck when other work at height is being done?

#2 User is online   csg 

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 08:33 PM

To the best of my knowledge, the reason your ecrin does not appear in the work section is that petzl dont market it for that purpose, and it has holes in the shell, which make it unsuitable for industrial applications which require protection from molten splash and electrial shock
the vertex vent also has holes, which despite being closeable, also restrict the use of that helmet

in the application you describe, im sure your lid will provide adequate protection if it is in good condition. On the ground however, you can just use a standard industrial hard hat if you prefer

This post has been edited by csg: 29 November 2008 - 08:41 PM


#3 User is offline   Roderick 

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Posted 29 November 2008 - 10:04 PM

For riggers in the roof, a Petzl is perfectly adequate as is does what you need, protect you from bumping your head onto things and it gives you good viewing, it doesn't obstruct your vision as 'normal' hard hats do. And it is highly unlikely that anything would fall on your head. However, they don't meet the official standards so if you run into a jobsworth who doesn't understand the job, they could prevent you from using it.
Groundcrew on the other hand, where there is a real risk of things dropping on your head, must really wear a proper, industrial hard hat. Doesn't look as cool, but neither does a 12mm bolt sticking out of your head.
Please be aware that if you are wearing an industrial hard hat at height, it must have chin-straps to stop it falling off when you look up, and become a falling object :rolleyes:
As I have grown older, I've learned that pleasing everyone is impossible, but pissing everyone off is a piece of cake.

#4 User is offline   Seano 

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Posted 30 November 2008 - 03:27 AM

View PostRoderick, on 29 Nov 2008, 10:04 PM, said:

For riggers in the roof, a Petzl is perfectly adequate as is does what you need, protect you from bumping your head onto things ...

... where there is a real risk of things dropping on your head, must really wear a proper, industrial hard hat. Doesn't look as cool, but neither does a 12mm bolt sticking out of your head


Are you under the impression that climbing helmets aren't designed to protect against things dropping on your head? (As if they were some kind of bump-cap?)
Not so, their primary function is to protect from falling debris, and the Ecrin Roc is particularly good at it.

#5 User is offline   Chris Higgs 

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Posted 01 December 2008 - 09:11 AM

One of the most important functions of a helmet worn at height in conjunction with fall arrest and work positioning PPE is to protect the head from impact in the event of a fall. An 'industrial' helmet is rarely equipped with an appropriate cradle and chinstrap.
There are a number of manufacturers who supply helmets which meet both industrial and work at height standards.
In terms of impact resistance, Petzl helmets with 'holes' and those without meet the standard required for industrial use.
The employer or self employed person is obliged to carry out a PPE assessment to establish the type, standard and compatibility of PPE required for a task.

If you need to know what standard an item of PPE conforms to for sure, check the printed information for the helmet in question. The majority that meet standards for PPE will be listed as such in catalogues and online. It is easy to check these against the EN standards - either online or very often manufacturers list the standards somewhere in their publications. For example, EN12492 typed into Google will tell you the standard is for mountaineering helmets.
Your employer or yourself as a self employed person should be deciding if that is appropriate to control the hazards that may exist in the work in hand. If the employer or self employed person doesn't know if it's appropriate someone who does know should be consulted.
Don't forget also that as part of this process, considering PPE is the last resort in controlling hazards (appreciate using hard hats is often a no-brainer, sorry, could resist that).

This post has been edited by Chris Higgs: 01 December 2008 - 09:20 AM


#6 User is offline   bbscuk 

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Posted 26 December 2008 - 09:17 PM

a little off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows anywhere in london that sells petzl helmets over the counter. I'm looking for a petzl vertex but I want to pay cash and try it on for size first. So far I can't find anywhere that isnt mail order or way out of london?

#7 User is offline   Chris Higgs 

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Posted 05 January 2009 - 12:45 AM

View Postbbscuk, on 26 Dec 2008, 10:17 PM, said:

a little off topic, but I was wondering if anyone knows anywhere in london that sells petzl helmets over the counter. I'm looking for a petzl vertex but I want to pay cash and try it on for size first. So far I can't find anywhere that isnt mail order or way out of london?


Flints

#8 User is offline   Kopy 

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 01:04 AM

I was always under the impression that climbing helmets were unsuitable for use on the ground as they don't have a peak above your eyes. Am I incorrect?

#9 User is offline   Seano 

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Posted 12 January 2009 - 03:30 PM

View PostKopy, on 12 Jan 2009, 1:04 AM, said:

Am I incorrect?

I don't know about Australia, but in Europe at least - yes, you are mistaken about the peak.

This post has been edited by Seano: 12 January 2009 - 05:30 PM


#10 User is offline   danjshelton 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 03:10 PM

Many years ago when I was selecting my climbing helmet, I decided to go for the Petzl Ecrin Roc (The one with Holes). What I did notice when I was looking into the difference between the one with "holes" and the one without, is that Petzl sell Hole fillers. I've just found the link and it is here.

Cheers

Dan

#11 User is offline   bbscuk 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 07:29 PM

I've been told that although in practicality, climbing helmets do the job, the only one I know that's actually got a relevant CE mark and is actually made for the job is the Petzl Vertex. Industrial safety helmets need to meet BS EN 397 with regards to withstanding falling objects and for work at height BS EN 12492 for side impacts and preventing helmet displacement. There are a number of helmets to EN 397 but the chinstraps aren't designed for work at height and vice versa.
I'm sure there are others but the Vertex is the only one I know that does both. Its up to you I suppose, an ecrin is bang on for rope access and alike but doesnt have EN 397 slapped on it but there'd probably be hard hats on site for working on the ground.

#12 User is offline   dunk_1984 

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Posted 27 January 2009 - 08:12 PM

It is certainly the case that on the Petzl website the only helmets in the work section are the vertex range. They are also the only ones advertised with the EN 397, however I would imagine as has been said most climbing helmets will also provide adequate protection, just not for your H&S paper pusher.

Likewise even with the vertex's, although they all meet the minimum requirements, only the Best and the ST meet the optional requirements of EN 397, due to the Vent, having the ventilation holes.

This post has been edited by dunk_1984: 27 January 2009 - 08:14 PM

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#13 User is offline   boac 

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Posted 28 January 2009 - 03:24 PM

According to the Petzl website the Vertex ST is an 'industrial safety helmet', the Vertex Best is a 'helmet for work at height and rescue' and the Vertex Vent is a 'ventilated helmet for work at height and rescue'. The ST is not meant for work at height, the difference with the other models being that the chinstrap is designed to come off when snagged. See also here

So it would seem you cannot have one lid to do both jobs. You might argue you could just undo the chinstrap when on the ground, the bog standard hard hat has no chinstrap, after all. Presumably the ST was designed for situations where the risk assessment required helmets with chin straps on the ground, I know a standard lid does sometimes try to slip off my head if I'm constantly bending down to work at floor level. Just one of the irritations that makes me dislike wearing them... I'm also much more likely to bang my head when wearing one because the peak obscures my view...

#14 User is offline   Chris Higgs 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 12:44 AM

You can use a Vertex Best on the ground, also an ST.
The Vent has a stronger chinstrap so it doesn't leave your head exposed just when you need protection most.
Your employer (or if you are self employed, you) should carry out a PPE assessment to select and provide the most appropriate PPE (and training in its use).
If you are working with molten metal, welding or grinding then a ventilated style is probably not appropriate.
AFAIK, the impact resistance of the Vertex range (and the older Ecrin style) is the same with or without the vents.
There are other manufacturers who produce EN397 helmets for work at height - Edelrid and Kong to name but two.

#15 User is offline   Seano 

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Posted 01 February 2009 - 05:06 PM

View Postbbscuk, on 27 Jan 2009, 7:29 PM, said:

There are a number of helmets to EN 397 but the chinstraps aren't designed for work at height

View Postboac, on 28 Jan 2009, 3:24 PM, said:

The ST is not meant for work at height, the difference with the other models being that the chinstrap is designed to come off when snagged.


There's a misunderstanding here. EN397 does require the chin strap to release (at a force not less than 150N but not more than 250N), but that doesn't necessarily mean the helmet isn't suitable for work at height. When you say "come off when snagged" you give the impression that it'll release at the slightest tug - this is not the case. An ST (for example) is not going to just fall off if there's a gust of wind.

The difference between an EN397 and an EN12492 chinstrap is frankly something that will only come into play in the most bizarre and unlikely circumstances. Each standard has plumped for what is thought to be the best option most of the time, and inevitably there's a bit of a compromise there - there are circumstances (even when working at height) that you'd really want the chinstrap to release, and also (even on the floor) that you really wouldn't.

Regarding chin straps, the industrial standard is written to protect against the shell becoming snagged or trapped (on a load being lifted, perhaps, or in a confined space). The mountaineering standard is written to protect against multiple impacts (stone or ice fall usually consists of more than one lump, tumbling down a slope may mean many small impacts leading up to one big one: if your lid comes off at the first bump you'll be unprotected against the second.)

Incidentally, climbing helmets have traditionally been designed primarily to protect from falling objects rather than striking the head on something while the wearer falls. Like the industrial standard, the main focus of EN12492 is protection for the crown of the head from falling objects. It sets a much lower standard for protection of the front, sides and back of the head. The standard was primarily written with (alpine) mountaineering in mind, where even high on a climb the greater danger comes from falling stones, rock and ice from above. Things have moved on a bit since then, and many people nowadays buy helmets to wear in other kinds of climbing where there's a proportionately much higher risk of striking the front, sides or back of the head while the climber falls. There's been some discussion of this in climbing circles (ongoing, I guess) and there is some talk of the standard for climbing helmets being modified to reflect this.

There's an interesting short article on the British Mountaineering Council's website here, and also a two part investigation into some specific climbing helmets here and here (these last two are pdfs, btw, and are a bit out of date now - there are many new helmets, especially lightweight thick foam/soft shell ones on the market now. The issues surrounding the BD Halfdome and Camp Startech helmets have long since been resolved.)

Not directly relevant to the workplace, of course, but the parallels are striking. Food for thought, perhaps.

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Presumably the ST was designed for situations where the risk assessment required helmets with chin straps on the ground

I think its more likely the ST was designed to meet the requirements of EN397, thereby enabling Petzl to sell helmets to people who want (or need) to buy one that meets that standard; thats what they're in business to do.

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