EN 397, EN 812, EN 12492 …. what do they establish?

12 March 2021

Speaking of EN 397, EN 812 and EN 12492 standards we refer to helmets or helmets. But not of any kind, the ones we are going to talk about are hats used mainly as head protection from impact, falling objects and falling from above.

The main characteristics that distinguish these protection devices are:

the ability to absorb shocks,
resistance to perforation,
resistance to rain and sunlight,
resistance to chemical agents and flammability,
the dielectric properties.

Not all helmets are the same, so let’s clarify the main distinction between helmets based on the task they must perform:

Safety helmet for industries (EN 397 standard)

Industrial hard hats are primarily intended to protect the wearer from falling objects and the resulting brain injuries and skull fractures.

The EN397 standard, relating to “protective helmets for industries”, requires the following for marking:

Each helmet must have a stamped or imprinted trademark bearing the following information:

a) the number of this European Standard,
b) the name or brand of the manufacturer,
c) the year and quarter of manufacture,
d) the type of helmet

The size or size scale Complementary information, such as instructions or recommendations for adjustment, assembly, use, washing, disinfection, maintenance and storage, are specified in the use leaflet

2. Shockproof helmet (EN 812 standard)

These helmets are designed to protect the wearer from the effects of a head bump against a hard, immobile object whose severity is such as to cause a laceration or other superficial injury. These helmets are not intended to protect against the effects of falling or throwing objects or suspended or moving loads and must never replace an industrial safety helmet regulated by the EN397 standard. They are mainly intended for users who work indoors.

Helmet for mountaineering and climbing (Standard EN 12492)

Protection from dangers that can be generated during activities performed by mountaineers – with the following requirements:

Absorption of vertical, front, side, back shocks
Resistance to penetration
Restraint device (chin strap loosens to min.500 N)
Resistance of the restraint device: The chin strap must have a maximum extension of 25 mm
Effectiveness of the restraint device: The helmet must not slip off the head

To choose the most suitable helmet, it is therefore necessary to identify the risks related to the work to be carried out. There is therefore no better helmet than another because the choice must be made on the basis of risk analysis.

We remember that :

Each individual protection device must be accompanied by a use and maintenance booklet which also contains information that the manufacturer provides regarding the expiry date of the device. Generally the helmet has a duration of 5 years, provided it is used in accordance with the manufacturer’s instructions and provided that it has been stored, in case of non-use, in a suitable place.

Often you meet trucks or vehicles of companies with the helmet resting on the dashboard. This situation subjects the device to sudden heating caused by the sun and the windshield glass. Since our helmet is made of thermoplastic material, it is not difficult to imagine the negative effects that, over time, cause the aging of the d.p.i., certainly compromising the characteristics of the material.

The marking on the inside of the helmet allows you to check the expiration date. By checking very carefully, you can read: the numerical mark of the control body, the name of the manufacturer and a circle in which both the month and the year of manufacture of the device are indicated.

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