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Poll

Which head protection is the best for forestry work?

Chainsaw helmet with built in face sheild and ear protection.
11 (91.7%)
Aluminum full brim helmet, mesh goggles and hearing protection plugs or behind the neck muffs.
1 (8.3%)

Total Members Voted: 12

Author Topic: Head protection pro's and cons  (Read 641 times)

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Offline moose207

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Head protection pro's and cons
« on: October 09, 2017, 12:46:15 pm »
Im trying to figure out which form of head protection to go for when i start to do some tree work on my mothers property. Mostly falling and bucking trees for firewood and splitting.

Offline Savannahdan

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #1 on: October 09, 2017, 02:32:29 pm »
Have to admit that I answered chainsaw helmet but feel that the ones I have wouldn't protected me enough if something bonked me on the head.  The web material doesn't look like it is enough protection.  I have a bicycle helmet and encountered a bunch of hits to it and the thing saved my hide.  But, some protection is much better than no protection.  I also wear protective glasses under the screen and sometimes I also have on earbuds in addition to the earmuffs.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #2 on: October 10, 2017, 05:49:19 pm »
It's really a matter of personal preference ... and it seems a lot of that is driven by regional preferences. I can count on one hand the number of people I've seen working in the woods here in Vermont over the past 16 years who used an aluminum helmet. Most wear the plastic forestry helmet with the built-in visor and ear muffs. (some skip the ear muffs in hot weather and use ear plugs instead.

If you do go with the plastic forestry helmet, look for one with the 6 point suspension. They provide significantly better protection than those with only  a 4 point suspension. (I've never looked inside the aluminum helmets to see if they have the same options.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline drobertson

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #3 on: October 10, 2017, 07:25:08 pm »
I agree with the above post, go to a saw shop or get online and order a  6 point helmet. It's simple enough to do,  I've been whacked by falling limbs,  helmet on, but even the collar bone at time takes a hit, fact is I got hit last evening bush hogging, it left a mark, and blood stain. Get yourself a good hard hat.
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline Brucer

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #4 on: October 11, 2017, 01:18:26 am »
You need to find something that works for you. It should be comfortable and easy to use. If it's uncomfortable or awkward it's too tempting to not use it.

Personally I like the forestry style hard hat with a mesh screen for face protection and attached ear muffs. It took me three tries to find the one that's perfect for me. The face protector doesn't just swing up, it's mounted on a linkage so it remains very close to the top of the hard hat when it's up. The linkage has a toggle spring so it will either stay down, or pop up with a light push of the finger.

The muffs swing right up along the sides of the hat. If someone's talking at you in the middle of a job, you can pull the muffs straight out the sides and they'll lock in position about 1" away from your ear.

That works for me -- other people might want different features.
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Offline Cedarman

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #5 on: October 11, 2017, 07:03:52 am »
If I were working in the woods without a hardhat I would feel more naked than standing in a crowd without clothes on.  I wear same thing Brucer wears.
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Offline John Mc

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #6 on: October 11, 2017, 07:12:19 am »
You need to find something that works for you. It should be comfortable and easy to use. If it's uncomfortable or awkward it's too tempting to not use it.

That's probably the single most important thing about any protective gear.

Quote
Personally I like the forestry style hard hat with a mesh screen for face protection and attached ear muffs. It took me three tries to find the one that's perfect for me. The face protector doesn't just swing up, it's mounted on a linkage so it remains very close to the top of the hard hat when it's up. The linkage has a toggle spring so it will either stay down, or pop up with a light push of the finger.

The muffs swing right up along the sides of the hat. If someone's talking at you in the middle of a job, you can pull the muffs straight out the sides and they'll lock in position about 1" away from your ear.

Would you care to share the brand/model you are using? Sounds a bit like the Husqvarna Technical Forest Helmet (which I switched to last winter - not to be confused with the technical arborist helmet - also good, but a different beast). I liked my old Husqvarno Pro Forest Helmet (which is still made and a good choice for many folks), but the technical helmet was a step up in comfort.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline drobertson

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #7 on: October 13, 2017, 10:23:03 am »
Its a sad day when one starts considering head protection while bush hogging,, had a chunk of limb bounce off the left front tire, happened quick, barely saw it coming, like a football end over end, whacko! makes one think about many things, no stitches required, but a good smart bump with blood,
only have a few chain saws I'm not suppose to use, but will at times, one dog Dolly, pretty good dog, just not sure what for yet,  working on getting the gardening back in order, and kinda thinking on maybe a small bbq bizz,  thinking about it,

Offline John Mc

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #8 on: October 13, 2017, 11:13:17 am »
Its a sad day when one starts considering head protection while bush hogging,, had a chunk of limb bounce off the left front tire, happened quick, barely saw it coming, like a football end over end, whacko! makes one think about many things, no stitches required, but a good smart bump with blood,

Yeah, a helmet is not exactly the first thing I reach for when brush hogging. I always wear one when felling in the woods, but generally not for other activites. In fact, a random event is what prompted me to add "FOPS" (Falling Object Protection System) to my tractor: I was simply driving down the trail. I had not logged recently, it was not windy, and I was not bumping into trees along the way. Suddenly, a branch dropped from a tree overhead, bounce off my roll bar and grazed my shoulder on it's way to the ground. If I had been just a second different in the timing of my trip down that trail, it would have landed square on my head, and I might not be here today.

I had wanted to add FOPS, limb risers and a belly pan to my tractor for years, but had never gotten around to it. I figured the forest was talking to me and telling me it was time to get it done. Made the appointment with the local fab shop a couple days later. What I ended up with won't stand up to a large tree falling on it, but I'm not driving my tractor around when felling is going on anyway.

If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Offline BradMarks

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #9 on: October 13, 2017, 04:54:45 pm »
Adding my 2 cents worth.  Most ear muffs are underperforming for db levels, and an operator should consider wearing ear plugs also> Savannahdan style!. NR overall rating of 33 or higher is recommended most often that I've seen.  Also a face shield(only) does not fully protect the eyes from side debris (but obviously better than nothing) and one should consider safety glasses or goggles in addition. If it sounds like doubling up, it is, but doesn't have to be. Choices: eyes and face, face only, eyes only.  Muffs and ear plugs, muffs only, plugs only. Easier to raise a muff than take out an ear plug to hear, but as stated often less than 33 NR.  And on hardhats, I might disagree on 6 pt vs 4 pt suspension as far as safety factor.  MSA (Miners Safety Appliance) has had 4 pt for years and years and they meet every requirement for a plastic type hardhat and are comfortable. I think if one is talking cheap plastic hardhats, then yes on 6 vs 4 pt.  And no hard hat will replace common sense and good safe work habits. Be stupid, get thunked hard enough, it won't matter what hat you're wearing.

Offline John Mc

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #10 on: October 13, 2017, 05:22:41 pm »
The chainsaw helmets with 4 point suspension also meet OSHA requirements. I find the 6 point more comfortable (of course, me old 4 point helmet was a piece of junk anyway). The six point suspension spreads the impact over more attachment points to the helmet, and over more of your skull. I've not seen definitive testing, but the physics of it is fairly plain (of course, I was only an "almost physics major", and that was over 30 years ago). 

Also, if one point of the 4 point suspension fails, the suspension is almost worthless (basically a single strap left running across the top of your head remains). With the six point, there is a much better chance of it still functioning if a single attach point fails. The 4 point SHOULD not be a problem if people follow the recommendations: replace every 5 years or after it takes a hit of any significance. That's probably more likely to happen on a jobsite. It's the rare homeowner/landowner who is even aware of these worksite regulations, let alone follows them.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow

Online Ianab

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #11 on: October 13, 2017, 05:36:36 pm »
At some point making a stronger helmet becomes pointless. All it does is transfer the impact onto your neck. Now a helmet is certainly a good thing, as even a small broken branch falling from height can put some serious hurt on the top of your head. A headache and sore neck is MUCH better than a fractured skull obviously. But if something hits you harder than a standards approved helmet can handle, then it's probably going to break your neck anyway.

So the more important thing is having something that's comfortable and practical, so you are actually using it when it's needed. Not sure about other parts of the world, but we have a Aus/ NZ standard for things like safety gear. If it has that sticker it's passed the tests. Personally I like the plastic forestry helmet with the muffs and visor attached. That way they are always with you, but you can flip the visor or muffs up when you need to look or listen for something. You aren't putting them down and forgetting to put them back on. Depending on the weather, having a helmet that's well vented matters. Heat exhaustion is also a very real risk, even a mild case affects your co-ordination and judgement, and you are more likely to make mistakes.
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Offline Brucer

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #12 on: October 14, 2017, 10:25:05 pm »
...
Would you care to share the brand/model you are using? ...

Mine says "Stihl" on the front, but it's made by Peltor. The same model is sold by Peltor under their own name. I wouldn't be surprised if Husky sold the same model with their name on it.
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Offline moose207

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #13 on: October 15, 2017, 01:20:26 am »
Well i used a stihl marked helmet today with bult in muffs and face shield.. Ya thats the route i will be going! Thanks everyone for your imput!

Offline John Mc

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Re: Head protection pro's and cons
« Reply #14 on: October 15, 2017, 07:34:45 am »
Have to admit that I answered chainsaw helmet but feel that the ones I have wouldn't protected me enough if something bonked me on the head.  The web material doesn't look like it is enough protection.

If by webbing you are referring to the straps that form the suspension and cross over the top of your head, that stuff is seriously strong. As long as it's not frayed or very old (heat, age, UV can make them more brittle). In a commercial setting, I believe US OSHA regs require replacing a helmet every 5 years. Those regs don't apply to non-commercial use. A homeowner/landowner who is not using a helmet 40 hours a week for a good part of each year probably will get longer life out of a helmet. However, it's worth keeping in mind that this equipment is age-limited: they will experience some minor deterioration just sitting on the shelf in your garage for several years.
If the only tool you have is a hammer, you tend to see every problem as a nail.   - Abraham Maslow