Below you will find all the information you need explaining what the different safety standards mean for hard hats

  1. EN 397
  2. EN 12492
  3. EN 50365

What is EN 397?

EN 397 is the industry standard for industrial helmets

There are four compulsory elements to EN397 – impact penetration flammability and anchorage.

This standard applies to protective helmets for industry where the helmet is intended to protect a static user from falling hazards. A series of impact tests must be carried out using a fixed head-form and a falling weight in order for a helmet to meet this standard.

IMPACT – The helmet must not allow more than 5Kn of energy to spread to the head after a fall of a 5kg weight from a 1 meter height. This test is performed at room temperatures of both +50°C and -10°C.

PENETRATION – The tip of the test mass used (3 kg from 1m height) must not come into contact with the skull. This test is performed at room temperatures of +50°C and –10°C.

FLAMMABILITY – The helmet is exposed to a flame and it must not burn with flame emission more than 5 seconds after removal of the flame source.

ANCHORAGE – Helmets can only protect when retained on the head. EN 397 requires that either the helmet shell or the headband is fitted with a chinstrap or with the means of attaching one, i.e. anchorage points. Chin strap (where present) shall be released at a force between 15kg e 25kg (150N -250N) – due to failure of the anchorages only. Test conducted at +50°C after the helmet being submitted to penetration test.

Check your dates
In accordance with EN 397, marking of the helmet should include the year and quarter of manufacture. Period of obsolescence of the helmet and its components must be declared on the User Sheet which is delivered together with the helmet.

EN 397 industrial helmets recommended by Activewear

WHAT IS EN 12492?

EN 12492 is the industry standard for helmets for mountaineers

EN 12492 is specifically used within the sporting industry for climbing helmets. Requirements for helmets to conform to the EN 12492 standard has become increasingly popular in the PPE market, as there is no specific technical standard regarding helmets for work at height. EN 12492 offers this protection.

PENETRATION – As with industrial helmets and bump caps, mountaineering helmets are intended to provide protection against sharp / pointed objects. The penetration test in EN 12492 is similar to that specified in EN 397, where a 3 kg conical striker is dropped onto the helmet from a height of 1 metre, and any contact between the helmet and headform (although in EN 12492 the headform is in the form of a standard test block) noted. Penetration tests on mountaineering helmets can be carried out on any point around the shell of the helmet, unlike EN 397 where they are restricted to an area at the crown of the head.

IMPACT – When climbing or working at height, your head can be exposed to more than just top down impacts. In order to combat this the mountaineer standard EN12492 requires additional tests to the front, side and rear of our mountaineering helmets. When testing, the headform is tilted to 30° from the horizontal plane, and 5kg hemispherical and flat strikers are dropped from 2m and 500mm respectively. These tests ensure your head is fully protected from all forces greater than 10kN.

DESIGN REQUIREMENTS – Most specifications for protective helmets include a number of requirements for the design of a helmet in addition to the specific performance requirements. These typically encompass the area of coverage provided by the helmet, as well as the field of vision afforded to the user when worn. They can also cover a number of ergonomics and safety-based requirements, such as clearance between the head and the shell of the helmet (particularly in the case of industrial helmets).

RETENTION SYSTEM EFFECTIVENESS – Helmets are subjected to a shock load, applied to the rear or front of the helmet in an attempt to pull the helmet off the headform. This is intended to consider the risk of the helmet catching on an obstacle and being unintentionally pulled off the user’s head. The test load (applied using a 10 kg falling mass) is applied, via a system of pulleys, to the rear of the helmet when mounted on a suitable headform, with the direction of loading following a direction approximately 45° from the horizontal towards the front of the headform (this is occasionally repeated on the front of the helmet). In order to meet the requirements of most protective helmet standards, the helmet must remain on the headform.

RETENTION SYSTEM STRENGTH – The retention system (in particular, the chin strap) is subjected to a force, applied either statically or dynamically, to ensure the strap is unlikely to fail at the point where it is most necessary. In the case of industrial helmets, it is however desirable that the chin strap will not cause a strangulation hazard, and so cannot be too strong, and therefore straps need to include a break-away element at the anchorages, intended to fail within a specific load range. Typically, the helmet, including chin strap, is fitted to a suitably-sized headform, with the chin strap either fitted to an artificial chin (consisting of two rollers mounted on a frame), where the headform remains static, or to the chin of the headform itself, where the headform is used to dynamically apply the force. The chin strap is then subjected to either a static force (where the artificial chin is slowly loaded until failure) or a dynamic (shock) load, applied using a falling mass, and the amount of stretch in the chin strap is measured.

EN 12492 mountaineer helmet recommended by Activewear

What is EN 50365?

EN 50365 is the standard for electrically insulated helmets for use in low voltage installations

This optional test ensures reliable protection against electric shock up to AC 1000V or DC 1500V. The voltage used for this test is 10,000V. Helmets approved according to EN 50365 must be marked with the triangle symbol and ”Electrician class 0” inside the shell.

Helmet approved according to EN 50365:
• Protects against electric shock and dangerous electric current through the head.
• Protects against alternating voltage up to 1000 V (AC) or voltage up to 1500 V (DC)
• May not contain any conductive parts if the helmet is insulating.
• Do not have air vents that can cause accidental contact with live parts.
• Must meet the requirements in accordance with EN 397.

EN 50365 electrically insulated helmets recommended by Activewear

Safety Standards for Hard Hats
Article Name
Safety Standards for Hard Hats
find all the information you need explaining what the different safety standards mean for hard hats EN 397 EN 12492 EN 50365
Publisher Name
Activewear Group

Comments are closed here.