Hard Hat Exemption Program

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Summary Statement

A funny article saying that you can be exempted from wearing a hardhat if your head meets the hardhat specifications such as being able to be underwater for 24 hours.

The hard hat discussion reminded me of the old 'HARD HAT EXEMPTION PROGRAM'

In a continuing effort to establish a progressive safety program, we hereby announce a unique policy of concern to everyone. It is a HARD HAT EXEMPTION PROGRAM. If you are one of those "Hard Headed" individuals who wants to let your hair blow in the breeze, who feels that their hard hat is shortening their neck, and that in general, it is just a pain in the you-know-what, this program is for you.

Every employee is required to wear a hard hat on the job. If you don't require this protection, you will be exempted from wearing a hard hat. First, let me make it perfectly clear that all employees will be required to continue wearing their hard hat until they obtain a certificate of exemption.

The program works like this: If your head meets the US government standards for head protection, you don't need a hard hat. Contact the safety department and they will schedule you for testing. Upon completion of testing, you will receive a beautiful certificate suitable for framing identifying your head as conforming to American National Standards. You will also receive a wallet-size card that you must carry on the job. The test goes like this.

  • First you will undergo a 24 hour underwater test. Maximum permitted absorption is 0.5 percent by weight. Air will be furnished by the company for the 24 hours at no extra charge.
  • Passing that, an impact test will be conducted. While lying horizontal with your head resting on a steel plate, an 8 pound steel ball must be dropped 5 feet several times with no damage to your head.
  • Next, your head will be subjected to a variety of acids, solvents, oils and industrial gases. It must pass with no damage or deformities.
  • A propane torch will be used to determine if your head is fire resistant.
  • If there are any holes in your head, it will restrict you from a class B rating.
  • For the final test, you must sustain 2200 volts AC, 60 Hz, for three minutes with leakage currents not exceeding nine milliampers. Breakdown threshold has been established at 30,000 volts.
  • All tests must be conducted at a variety of temperatures ranging from -20 to 140 degrees Fahrenheit.

If you don't feel you can qualify, don't despair. Although not as pretty as your hairdo, your hard hat does provide protection for your head from all of the above.

Remember, unless your receive an exemption certificate you must continue wearing your hard hat. Not wearing one is privilege that will be given only to those who undergo proper certification and are designated: "HARD HEADS".