Hard hats and bump caps both forms of PPE that provide head protection, however the circumstances in which they’re used vary based on the type and level of protection required.
Bump caps protect against small impacts that a worker may incur when bumping into or knocking against a stationary object, while hard hats offer additional protection against falling or moving objects.
This difference can be articulated as “worker-generated impacts vs object-generated impacts”, according to Pro Choice Safety Gear’s Product Development Manager, Brad Rodgers.
“Bump caps are designed for small lacerations or bumps where the wearer comes into contact with the hazard. It’s a very basic protection that won’t provide the same level of protection against impacts that a normal industrial hard hat would,’ explained Rodgers.
The difference in the level of protection is due to how bump caps and hard hats are made.
“A bump cap is made from an injection molded plastic shell that is generally encased in an outer cap or hat that provides sun protection and holds the shell in place, allowing it to be fastened to the head,” said Rodgers.
“Hard hats are injection molded from more durable plastics and are designed with an inner harness system made from plastic and webbing that provides significant protection by reducing the force of the impact through to the wearer.”