Know your Protective Gear: Bump Caps vs. Hard Hats

When evaluating the right form of safety equipment for your workplace, head protection is one that should never be determined lightly. The two most common forms of head protection against impacts are Bump Caps and Hard Hats. Though very similar in appearance, they each provide a certain level of protection intended for specific applications in order to be effective. The situation of use varies depending on the type and level of protection that a task requires. See below for more information on Bump Caps and Hard Hats, and a few of the varieties that Bunzl Processor Division offers to help keep your workers properly protected. 

Bump Caps are a basic form of head protection that protects against wearer-initiated impacts, such as bumps or knocks against a wall or other stationary objects. These caps feature an injection molded plastic shell that is typically encased in an outer cap or hat, helping to provide sun protection while holding the shell in place so that it can be fastened to the head. Bump caps are ideal in specific situations such as working in a confined space, working in non-vertical situations (such as laying on a flat surface, as a chin strap is not required to stay on) or other environments where hard hats aren’t suitable. When compared to hard hats, bump caps prove to be less expensive to purchase, and less cumbersome to wear. 

  • Standard Bump Cap – Features a four-point adjustable suspension system with a Coolmax® terry cloth sweat band to help keep the wearer comfortable. These caps are available in 7 colors to comply with your facility’s color-coding safety plan.
  • Safety Bump Cap – Ideal for protecting the head from lacerations and minor bumps in areas that do not require certified safety helmets. Enjoy a removable, washable and replaceable moisture wicking pad and side vents to help keep the wearer cool and comfortable. These bump caps are available in 12 colors, including 3 Hi-Vis varieties for enhanced safety.

Hard Hats are a more rugged form of gear that most often comes to mind when thinking of protective headwear. They provide elevated protection against object-initiated impacts where an object moves towards and strikes a person, such as falling items. Hard hats are injection molded from high-density polyethylene, which is a more durable plastic than used with bump caps. They are also designed with an inner harness system of plastic and webbing that delivers significant protection by reducing the force of impact to the wearer. There are 2 types of hard hats available: Type 1, which is built to protect against vertical impacts, and Type 2, for lateral resistance to impacts from the front, back and sides of the helmet.

  • V-GARD® Safety Hard Hat – Meets Type 1 requirements for lightweight and comfortable all-day wear. Features a slotted design for hard hat accessories, Staz-On suspension and an optional ratchet-style replacement suspension.
  • ERB Americana Safety Cap – Type 1 protection with a 4-point slide-lock nylon suspension for simple adjustment to fit your head size. These helmets are also equipped with a removable, washable and replaceable moisture-wicking brow pad, optional venting and accessory slots to accommodate a variety of eye, face and hearing products.

Don’t miss our variety of hard hat accessories including faceshields, visors, accessory clips, headlights, replaceable suspensions and more to ensure that your team is equipped with the necessary level of protective and comfort-providing gear. 

When choosing any form of PPE for your facility, it is important to always conduct a full risk assessment to determine which safety gear best suits the applications and risk protection needs. If you need help in deciding between bump caps or hard hats, or would like more information on our selection of products, call our team at 800-456-5624. We are happy to discuss your operations and offer the best solutions for optimal protection in your facility.