Safety helmet mandatory?

What do the applicable laws and regulations say?

The safety helmet is an important piece of PPE (personal protective equipment) for workers in different industries; from construction workers to electricians, the safety helmet protects the wearer from injury to the head. But is a safety helmet mandatory?

The answer is not easy to answer with a yes or no. Because it depends on the situation the worker is in. However, there are many situations where wearing a safety helmet is mandatory. For example, in the construction industry, wearing a safety helmet is mandatory on construction sites because there are many risks of injuries from falling objects.

There are also situations where wearing a safety helmet is not mandatory, but highly recommended. For example, in the woodworking industry, where sawing machines are used. Although wearing a safety helmet is not strictly mandatory here, wearing it can prevent head injuries.

Laws and regulations

It is important to know that there are laws and regulations that make the wearing of safety helmets mandatory in under specific circumstances. Employers are obliged under the Occupational Health and Safety Act to provide a safe working environment. Within that obligation, they should provide the right PPE, such as a safety helmet, if necessary. The safety helmet is mandatory in situations where there is a risk of injury to the head. Workers are obliged to wear the protective equipment required by their employer.

However, we cannot mention it often enough; even if wearing a safety helmet is not mandatory, it is still important to wear it to protect against any accidents. Head injuries can have a huge impact and can even be life-threatening.

Safety standards

The main standard for safety helmets in the Netherlands is European standard EN 397. This standard specifies a minimum requirement in terms of safety, performance, test methods and brand details of the safety helmet. Safety helmets that comply with this standard must bear a CE mark. This standard applies to industrial safety helmets, which are used in situations where there is a risk of injury from falling or falling objects.

The EN 397 standard thus provides a guarantee of construction helmet safety and sets minimum requirements for helmet safety and performance. Employers are obliged to provide helmets that comply with the EN 397 standard with a CE mark.

The standards of EN 397 should be considered a minimum. In situations where there is a greater risk of head injury, such as when working at height or with heavy machinery, employers may choose to use helmets that meet stricter requirements than the standard requires.

Safety helmet-mandatory

When is a safety helmet due for replacement?

A construction helmet or safety helmet should be replaced when it is damaged, or when there is evidence of wear. For example, when there are visible tears, cracks present or when helmet is deformed. Also, if the inner lining of the helmet is damaged, the helmet should be replaced.

In addition, the age of the helmet is also an important factor. The helmet's performance can decrease over time, even if the helmet is not damaged. Most manufacturers indicate that a helmet should be replaced after about 5 years. This timeframe can vary depending on the specific helmet and the conditions in which it is used.

It is advisable to regularly inspect helmets for damage or wear, and of course replace them when necessary. This ensures that helmets are always in good condition and provide the wearer with optimal protection from injury.

Safety helmet-mandatory

Advice on when a safety helmet is mandatory?

Uncertain whether or not a safety helmet is mandatory in your employees' situation? Or would you like to know more about which type of helmet is most suitable for the situation your employees are working in? Get in touch with one of our advisers. They will be happy to tell you more about the laws and regulations and whether the use of a safety helmet is mandatory at your workplace.

You can contact us on 0184 43 44 55 or Or fill in the contact form on our contact page.

Wijngaarden VeiligGoed; supplier of PPE

Based in Sliedrecht (South Holland), Wijngaarden VeiligGoed has been a leading name in the world of PPE for more than 50 years. We helped thousands of customers in the Netherlands, but also abroad, to select and supply the best protective equipment for the workplace.

Safety helmet-mandatory

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