Dec 05, 2019
Happy Birthday to the Hard Hat! 100 Years of Safety
Can you believe it?!? The hard hat turned 100 years old this year!
Although it is now one of the most ubiquitous pieces of personal protective equipment across many different industries, hard hats were first worn by construction workers in the 1920s.
According to NIOSH, the E.D. Bullard Company, San Francisco, California, was the first to manufacture hard hats, which they called “Hard Boiled®” hats. By the mid-1930s, all workers participating in the construction of the Golden Gate Bridge were expected to wear hard hats.
Over the years, hard hats have taken many shapes and been made of various materials, including aluminum, Bakelite®, canvas, fiberglass, resin and steel. However, hard hats’ design has remained fairly consistent over the decades, including a suspension system and outer shell. By the 1960s, hard hats made of plastics were becoming the norm.
After NIOSH and OSHA were created in 1970, the use of hard hats was regulated and use of the safety device increased exponentially.
Happy birthday to the hard hat. Thank you for keeping our noggins safe for a whole century!
For more information on the history of the hard hat, check out this article by the New York Times.