Are there different types of bump caps?

By Steve Prentice | Last updated: January 31, 2024
Presented by Ergodyne

While they look a lot like hard hats, bump caps serve a very different function. While they don’t offer the same level of protection, they nevertheless serve an important purpose.

Bump Caps vs. Hard Hats

Bump caps are designed to protect against impact initiated by the worker. This includes bumping the head against low objects or against walls and obstacles in confined spaces.

In other words, impact that happens when the worker moves toward and makes contact with a stationary object.

Hard hats, on the other hand, are designed to protect against impacts initiated by moving objects. This includes items that fall or swing toward the worker.

Unlike bump caps, they have a strong outer shell that provides protection from the impact of a moving object. They also feature a suspension ring that diffuses the momentum from the object and prevents the user’s head from feeling the full force of the impact.

Is There a Bump Cap Standard?

Bump caps are not CSA or ANSI approved, but there is a European standard: EN 812: 2012. Some bump caps sold in North America might be marked as EN 812-certified.

The Different Types of Bump Caps

There are, indeed, different styles of bump c


  • Soft textured bump caps that resemble a soft helmet and are made of breathable material for long term usage
  • Baseball cap style bump caps that offer a more casual look while incorporating the required padding
  • Hardshell bump caps that offer a little more protection through a physically hard polyethylene helmet
  • Conventional baseball caps with specialized bump cap inserts

Do These Differences Matter?

Bump caps can have various looks and styles, but none of these represent vastly different levels of safety.

The design, color, and comfort level of a particular cap might make it more appealing to the user. But ultimately, all bump caps are designed to protect against minor lacerations caused by impacts initiated by the wearer.

Ready to learn more? Check out our free webinar, Hard Hats, Safety Helmets, and Bump Caps: A Quick Guide to Choosing the Right Protection for the Job!

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Written by Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice

Steve Prentice is a project manager and a specialist in productivity and technology in the workplace. Much of his work focuses on techniques for creating and maintaining safe and healthy working environments. He believes new educational technologies will go a long way in establishing policies and practice that support safe and balanced work, while blockchain tech will assist greatly in the process, and he assists companies in adopting these as new best practices. He is a published author of three self-help books, and is in high demand as a guest speaker and media commentator. His academic background is in organizational psychology and project management.

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