The use of helmets will include the need to protect employees from exposure to falling objects, bumps, electrical contact, sun, heat and fire, low light risk and emergency situations.


The need to wear head protection should be established by conducting a risk assessment. Elimination or control of a hazard should be given first consideration. Key factors influencing a head protection risk assessment:

  • The nature and location of the work
  • Potential of falling objects
  • Contact with fixed or protruding objects
  • Contact with electrical hazards
  • Exposure to heat, sun, wind, rain and chemicals
  • The impact on hearing protection by head/face protection accessories
  • Specialist fire & emergency rescue situations

The head comfort of workers exposed to high temperatures/heat is important. Ventilated, white safety helmets will provide better heat dissipation.

Hard hat reflective strips are available for low light working risks.  The tape is available in curved and straight strips and coated in a safe and approved adhesive.

Emergency and Warden safety helmets must always have an adjustable chin strap fitted. All are required to have the approved identification. The safety helmet colours for Emergency Warden positions are:

  1. White – Chief Warden
  2. White – Deputy Chief Warden
  3. White – Communications Officer
  4. Yellow – Area or Floor Warden
  5. Red – Warden
  6. Green – First Aid Officer – White Cross on a Green Square


  • Cap attachable earmuffs
  • Face shield or welding shield
  • Visor/muff combinations for brushcutting/chainsaw applications
  • Wide brim for additional shade in hot climates
  • Neck flaps for protection against weather, molten metal splash, hot substances etc.
  • Chin straps


Safety helmet shells generally have a working life of 3 years from date of issue. Internal headgear should be replaced every 2 years. Safety helmets and components should be inspected weekly for dents, cracks, scratches or other damage that may reduce the degree of safety originally provided. Helmets showing damage or deterioration to the shell should be immediately disposed of.

useful references

AS/NZS 1801:1997  Occupational Protective Helmets.
AS/NZS 1800:1998  Occupational Protective Helmets – Selection, care and use.

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