Are there different types of bump caps?
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, whenever the worker moves toward and makes contact with an object.
It is important to fully differentiate bump caps from hard hats, which are designed to protect against impacts initiated by moving objects. This includes items that fall or swing toward the worker. The strong outer shell provides protection from the impact of a moving object, while the suspension ring diffuses the momentum.
(Learn about Hard Hat Requirements You Need to Know.)
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.
There are different styles of bump cap, but they all fall into the same category of protecting against minor lacerations or impacts initiated by the wearer:
- 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
The variations in look and style do not represent vastly different levels of safety – all bump caps are designed for minor impact based on a person’s own momentum. However, the design, style, color and comfort of a particular cap might make it more appealing to wear.
More Q&As from our experts
- When is it okay to wear a bump cap?
- What risks need to be considered when rescuing someone from a confined space?
- How much fluid should a person take in on a given day?