OSHA issues final rule for head protection

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has updated the American National Standards Institute's (ANSI's) consensus standard references within OSHA's construction regulation for head protection (29 CFR §1926.100).

OSHA's current regulation states hard hats used in construction must meet the specifications contained in two obsolete ANSI standards. The recently issued final rule says hard hats must comply with ANSI Z89.1-1997, ANSI Z89.1-2003 or ANSI Z89.1-2009 (formally titled ANSI/ISEA Z89.1-2009). Most hard hats available for sale to roofing contractors likely will be tested according to the 2009 ANSI/ISEA standard's new test protocols, which include provisions for certifying hard hats worn in the bill-forward or bill-backward position (often an issue on construction job sites). Hard hats meeting this specification are marked with this symbol: .

Hard hats meeting the 1997 or 2003 ANSI standards' test criteria will comply with the revised OSHA regulation. Hard hats compliant with earlier ANSI standards likely aren't available and will not comply with the OSHA standard when the final rule becomes effective Sept. 20.