Pro Choice Hard Hat Standards

  • What is a certified hard hat?

    A hard hat is a protective helmet approved for use in a workplace to protect the head from injury by falling objects, impact with other objects, debris, bad weather and electric shock.

    A hard hat is equipped with internal webbing that spreads the weight of the helmet (and therefore the shock of impact) evenly over the entire area of the helmet and top of the head. The internal harness also provides a 30 mm "buffer zone" between the shell and the head that will reduce the likelihood of impact from a falling object being transferred to the skull.

    Features of hard hats can include a choice of shapes, ventilation, colours, adjustments and accessories.

  • What standards do ProChoice hard hats meet?
    • AS/NZS 1801:1997 Occupational protective helmets and;
    • AS/NZS 1800:1998 Occupational protective helmets - Selection, care and use

    The objective of this Standard is to specify protective helmets that are to be worn in a variety of occupations, in order to reduce the severity of head injury from hazards associated with such activities.


    Every ProChoice helmet or hard hat is tested and certified to AS/NZS1801 so it meets the needs of industry in Australia.

    This Standard has specific requirements for protective helmets to protect the wearer’s head from falling objects and debris in the workplace and reduce the risk of injury.

    The Standard specifies requirements for the construction and materials of the helmet shell and head harness, mechanical strength of the shell and finish of the helmet.

  • What tests do the hard hats undergo to met these standards?

    Every production run of ProChoice helmets is tested to ensure it complies with the Australian Standard AS/NZS1801.

    Hard hats are conditioned prior to each test to differing heats and conditions to ensure that they comply under a variety of conditions. These are: 

    • Hot - at a temperature of 50 ±2°C.
    • Cold - at a temperature of -10 ±2°C.
    • Wet - total immersion in water at a temperature of 23 ±5°C.

    They then undergo testing for:

    • Electrical Resistance – where the leakage current cannot exceed 3 mA with no electrical discharge from the material nor flashover over the rim of the helmet. 
    • Stiffness – where the indent of the hard hat shell under a force of 90 ±1 Newtons (N) does not exceed 15 mm when measured between 8 seconds and 10 seconds after application of this force. A Newton is the amount of force required to accelerate a body with a mass of one kilogram at a rate of one metre per second squared.
    • Shock Absorption – where the impact of 50 ±1 Joules (J) will not cause the deceleration of the striker to exceed 980 m/s2, or the force transmitted to the hard hat wearer will not exceed 5.0 kN. A Joule is the work done, or energy expended, by a force of one Newton moving an object one metre along the direction of the force.
    • Resistance to Penetration – where the head form is not hit by the point of the striker.

©Paramount Safety Products 2011

All references to Australian Standards have been reproduced with permission from SAI Global under copyright Licence 0912-C043 and is exclusive to Paramount Safety Products. These standards may be purchased online at The granting by SAI Global of a licence to reproduce is in no way represented as approval from SAI Global of any alterations, additions or deletions.