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What goes into a good hard hat?

Supplier: MSA Australia
13 July, 2011

Have you ever considered how much time you spend choosing a pair of boots compared to choosing a hard hat?

Remarkably most people spend much more time on choosing boots than protecting their most important asset. No question boots are important but shouldn't the same time be spent on hard hats?

What goes into a good hard hat?

Clearly the first step is certification to a uniformly adopted standard such as an Australian standard but that is just half of it.

MSA Australia manufactures industrial hard hats and caps in Australia backed by a local QA system that means every hard hat, not the sample submitted, meets the stringent Australian Standard. 

In fact MSA Australia's V-Gard series, which is still made locally, was partly conceived and designed in Australia winning awards such as the unique Good Design Award in 2002. As a testament to the leading overall design the MSA V-Gard range is the world's leading hard hat for industrial protection, you can't argue with that.

What makes the MSA V-Gard such a good design?

Many things make a leading design so here are a few pointers:


A hard hat has to sustain impact and distribute the force safely to prevent direct head injury. Clearly the job of the harness is where the rubber hits the road in this respect.

MSA's V-Gard range is fitted with suspensions that really serve to evenly share the load when it counts. The suspension redistributes loads, (particularly severe loads like  impact), over the entire surface of the suspension thereby reducing the potential for injury.

Seating the harness correctly on your head improves helmet function. MSA's V-Gard also features adjustable suspension to ensure a comfortable and even load distribution and sweat bands to prevent slippage.

When did you last think about the harness in the helmet? Maybe it's about time?

Don't be a hot head

No one doubts that Australia is a land of extreme's including extreme heat. If you are working an extreme heat work environment you should consider the V-Gard 500 (formerly Advance) or V-Gard 200 (formerly Coolgard) both of which are available with venting. 

It is critical to your wellbeing to keep your head as cool as possible and that means with your head protection on. Throwing a hat in the cab on a hot day is not only dumb but dangerous for you. Even lifting off a hard hat to temporally cool off can be tragic. So how do you keep cool?

Good design ventilation, such as in the V-Gard 500 and V-Gard 200 is the key. In today's environmental we all know about cross ventilation in keeping a building cool. Chances are if you're a builder you're probably working on this now. Hard hats need practical, functional ventilation but sadly many have vents that just don't work. Making a choice between heat stroke or head injury isn't one any of us want to make.

MSA's V-Gard TM 500 and V-Gard 200 series demonstrate an example of tried, tested and proven ventilation which works. While you're keeping your cool don't forget your eyes and nose. An extended peak protects not only from sun but also assists in reducing physical injuries.

MSA Glaregard peak lining also provides uniquely patented glare protection for your eyes. In Australia we all know how important that is.

Don't be wet behind the ears

Fortunately the sunburnt country is not always sunburnt. Getting wet behind the ears might be considered an inconvenience or annoyance but it can be dangerous. Water leaking into hard hats can firstly reduce the effectiveness of the harness by allowing slippage when a hard hat is impacted or if you bend over. Picking up a dropped hard hat because of a wet head can be very annoying and often means it's left off.

Saturated sweat bands or leaks on the inside of the hard hat can drip into eyes causing a temporary reduction in eyesight. If you're off the ground on scaffolding or structure it becomes much more than an inconvenience.

MSA's V-Gard have more clever design features and include a gutter to shed water away from the eyes, the characteristic "V" capture rain and  re-direct flow away from the peak and penetration resistant vents. If a MSA V-Gard leaks your swimming. No wonder the design was and is still considered such a leading innovation in head protection.

Get the full package

These days hard hats serve as a platform for everything including visors and ear muffs to protect vision and hearing. Accessories that not only fit but were designed in conjunction with the hard hat builds on design synergies. This leads to uncompromised protection.

MSA design helmet mounted accessories like MSA left/Right TM ear muffs specifically for MSA  helmets. With such innovations in combination you know you get the full package. Sun brims, neck flaps etc complete the deal.

MSA experience in materials, shell construction, design and innovation is reflected in more than industrial hard hats. Worn by people in advanced combat, fighter jets, helicopters, fire fighting, police and rescue around the globe MSA is the real deal. Standing tall in this group is the MSA V-Gard series. Next time you are looking to protect your head  "keep your head on".

MSA V-Gard® Protective Hard Hats and Caps