The choice of helmet will depend on the type of work being undertaken and the environment in which it will be used. An EN397 weaker chinstrap may be more appropriate in places where there is a risk of snagging and thus a chocking hazard (such as in a confined space).
Similarly, where it is important to ensure the helmet does not come off during a fall, such as, when there may be multiple impacts in a fall, the stronger EN12492 may be deemed most appropriate.
For rope access, as noted in the IRATA ICOP 2.7.12, 'Users should check carefully the performance of industrial helmets conforming to European Standard EN397 as they might not have the all the performance requirements for the safety of rope access technicians, e.g. front, side and rear energy absorption capacity (not specified in EN397); appropriate chinstrap and fastening arrangement; low temperature use and ventilation (optional in EN397).
Helmets utilizing expanded polystyrene shells (common in helmets conforming to European Standard EN12492) are unlikely to withstand the rigours of industrial use and, therefore, are generally not recommended'.
A guide to the Conformity Standards:
|EN397||Industrial safety helmets|
|EN12492||Mountaineering equipment. Helmets for mountaineers. Safety requirements and test methods|
|EN50365||Electrically insulating helmets for use on low voltage installations|
|ANSI Z87.1||American National Standards Institute - Occupational and Educational Personal Eye and Face Protection Devices|
|ANSI Z89.1 (class C)||American National Standards Institute - Industrial Head Protection - Class C (Conductive) provide no electrical protection|
|ANSI Z89.1 (class E)||American National Standards Institute - Industrial Head Protection - Class E (Electrical) are tested to withstand 20,000 volts|
|UIAA 106||International Climbing and Mountaineering Federation - Helmets|
*Please note some helmets conform only in part to certain standards. Certifications for each helmet are indicated in the Manufacturer's Instructions / Instructions for Use. There is currently no specific European helmet standard for work at height.
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