Beating the heat - Gardner Denver uses their heads with white hard hats
August 16, 2017
It all started with a team member’s suggestion. Dana Montgomery of Oklahoma, OK noticed that dark-colored hard hats were significantly hotter than light-colored hard hats. Wanting to improve our team member’s health, comfort and safety, we researched this topic further. We found tests conducted by BJ Services that supported Montgomery’s observation - and inspired us to take action. We recently switched to all-white hard hats. Here’s why:
BJ Services conducted a study using Type 1 hard hats, class E & G, constructed from HDPE - Dark blue, Green and White. When air temperatures rose above 98.6 degrees Fahrenheit, the surface temperature of the dark blue hard hat was 149 degrees F. The white was only 100 degrees F! The radiant heat measured under the dark blue hard hat was 105 degrees F, compared to 100 degrees F for the white. The dark blue colored hard hats evaporated up to 60% more water than white – so sweating cooled people down less! When worn with FRC coveralls, dark blue hard hats increased heat loading by 557% more than the white hard hats and light grey FR coveralls.
Air Temps > 98.6F
Heat Loading (when worn with FRC coveralls)
Armed with this data, we made the decision to switch to all-white hard hats. This has already made a big difference in the health and quality of life of our team members. We wanted to share this news with you!