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When Must Construction Workers Wear Hard Hats? New York City Accident Attorney Explains

On Behalf of | Jul 1, 2016 | Firm News

Construction is the most dangerous industry in the United States. Heavy equipment, unstable ladders and scaffolding, exposed electrical wires, and other hazards killed more than 4,800 workers in 2014, according to the Occupational Safety & Health Administration.

Construction companies are required by law to make sure workers have access to the necessary safety equipment. This may include gloves, boots, facemasks and other protection. Perhaps the most important and effective piece of safety equipment is the hard hat.

According to OSHA, all workers who are at risk of head injuries must wear hard hats. Construction companies can face legal consequences if they do not enforce this policy.

If you were injured while working on a construction site, contact Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP. An injury lawyer in New York City will evaluate your accident to determine if you have grounds for a claim. You may be entitled to compensation for lost wages, health-care bills and noneconomic damages.

Call 917-730-7151 to schedule a free initial consultation. You can also learn more about workers’ compensation in New York by visiting

When Must Construction Workers Wear Hard Hats?

OSHA has two regulations that govern hard hat use: the general industry standard (29 CFR 1910.135) and the construction sector standard (29 CFR 1926.100). Workers must wear hard hats if there is a risk of head injuries due to:

  • Falling tools, debris or other objects;
  • Fixed structures such as beams, supports or other equipment;
  • Or electric shock.

What Are OSHA Regulations Related to Hard Hats?

In order to comply with OSHA regulations, all hard hats must meet the requirements of the American National Standards Institute. Most hard hats manufactured since 1997 meet OSHA regulations, but employers are responsible for verifying this. ANSI standards define the following:

  • Classes and types of head protection for specific dangers;
  • Performance and design requirements for electrical shock, penetration and impact;
  • And thorough testing to ensure compliance with OSHA and ANSI.

Hard Hat Types and Electrical Classes

In the United States, workers most commonly use Type I hats, which protect the top of the head. Europeans, however, typically wear Type II hard hats, which protect the sides and top of the head.

Hard hats are also divided into three categories based on their protection against electrical shock:

  • Class G (General) hard hats can handle 2,200 volts;
  • Class E (Electrical) hard hats protect against 20,000 volts;
  • And Class C (Conductive) hard hats offer no protection against electricity at all.

If you were injured on a construction site, then you may have grounds for a workers’ compensation claim. Unfortunately, making a successful claim is not always straightforward. Your employer may argue that you do not deserve compensation, or the insurance company might deny or undervalue your claim.

A New York City accident attorney from Antin, Ehrlich & Epstein, LLP can represent your interests. We will gather evidence, structure your claim and handle settlement negotiations on your behalf.

Our lawyers have recovered tens of millions of dollars for our clients, and we will give your case the individual attention that it deserves. Call 917-730-7151 to schedule a free initial consultation.