When it comes to face shields for industrial use, there are two basic components to the overall assembly – the window and the attachment system. The window is the transparent shield that provides the actual face & eye protection, with things like color and material depending on the application. The attachment system will be one of two types – a bracket for use with a hardhat or safety helmet, or headgear to be worn directly on the worker’s head with no helmet. Many severe industrial applications will be mandated by OSHA to require the use of a hardhat or helmet, while headgear is typically used in less severe applications. In this latest installment of the Paulson Rundown, we’ll discuss the different types of face shield attachment systems offered by Paulson Mfg., and the features & benefits of each one.
Brackets for Slotted Cap Hardhats & Safety Helmets
Slotted cap brackets are designed for cap-style hardhats that feature a front-brim and slots on each side. The bracket itself has a similar radius to the brim of the hardhat and utilizes slotted cap adapters on each side to slide and lock into the hardhat slots. To attach the window, many brackets utilize a universal cam lock system which are compatible with any window that features a universal hole pattern. The bracket features a pivot screw on each side that allows the shield to be raised above the hardhat (stowed position) and lowered to cover the face (deployed position).
In an effort to minimize the weight imbalance of the shield while in the stowed position, Paulson has recently launched our line of weight-compensating slotted cap brackets. These brackets feature a different pivot point than our standard cap brackets, which positions the shield further back and lower above the hardhat while in the stowed position. Rather than cam locks, these new brackets feature Paulson’s LeverLock® attachment system, which attaches to Paulson windows with a custom LeverLock® hole pattern.
Another innovation in Paulson’s line of slotted cap brackets is our press-to-release slotted cap adapters. Slotted cap brackets have been notoriously difficult to detach from the helmet once the slotted adapters are locked in place. To address this issue, Paulson slotted cap adapters now feature a press-to-release tab, allowing for easy shield removal.
Finally, it’s important to point out that more and more workers are opting for climbing-style safety helmets. These helmets have several key advantages over traditional hardhats, including enhanced side and back impact protection; a chin strap to ensure the helmet stays on in the event of a fall; low profile and compact fit (great for confined spaces and climbing poles); and in some cases, an advanced membrane system for added protection. However, for all of their great features and benefits, the market has been lacking in a broad range of face protection solutions compatible with all major safety helmet brands. Current available face shields are typically proprietary to that specific helmet brand, and compatible face shields for severe industrial applications like arc flash, molten metal, chemical splash, welding, etc. are few and far between. To fill this need, Paulson has developed a line of weight-compensating brackets compatible with the major climbing-style safety helmet brands, including Petzl®, KASK®, and more. Paulson’s full line of face protection solutions can now be worn with these new and innovative helmets, which continue to grow in popularity.
Popular Slotted Cap Bracket Models:
- CB2-HD: Slotted Cap Bracket, Cam Lock Attachment System
- AMP-CS: AmpShield® Slotted Cap Bracket, LeverLock® Attachment System
- WCB-AMP-K: AmpShield® Slotted Bracket for KASK® Safety Helmets, LeverLock® Attachment System, Weight-Compensating
Universal Brackets for Slotted & Non-Slotted Cap Hardhats
Similar to slotted cap brackets, universal cap brackets are designed to attach a face shield window to a cap-style hardhat. The difference is, rather than utilizing slotted adapters that slide and lock into the hardhat slots, a universal cap bracket utilizes an elastomeric band that wraps around the hardhat, making it compatible with both slotted and non-slotted cap-style hardhats. These brackets feature a brim clip that wraps around the front brim of the hardhat. Once this clip is in place on the brim, the elastomeric band is positioned at the rear of the hardhat, securing the bracket in place. For window attachment, Paulson’s universal cap brackets utilize either a cam lock or LeverLock® system, just like our slotted cap models. These brackets are a good choice if you are unsure if you will be wearing hardhat with slots, if there is a combination of slotted and non-slotted hardhats on a work crew, or if you prefer the ease of detaching the bracket with elastomeric band.
Popular Universal Cap Bracket Models:
- CB6-HD: Universal Cap Bracket, Cam Lock Attachment System
- AMP-CU: AmpShield® Universal Cap Bracket, LeverLock® Attachment System
Universal Brackets for Full-Brim Hardhats
For many applications, a full-brim hardhat is the preferred helmet for workers, as the brim gives increased UV protection all around the head. This is especially true for outdoor construction and utility workers, particularly in sunnier regions of the country. For these hardhats, universal full-brim hat brackets are the most common choice for attaching a face shield. These brackets are very similar to universal cap brackets – both feature the brim clip & elastomeric band, and both have models available with cam lock or LeverLock® window attachment systems. The difference is that a full-brim hat bracket will have a wider radius to properly fit the wider brim of the hardhat.
Popular Full-Brim Hat Bracket Models:
- HB2-HD: Full-Brim Hat Bracket, Cam Lock Attachment System
- AMP-CH: AmpShield® Full-Brim Hat Bracket, LeverLock® Attachment System
Brackets for Slotted Full-Brim Hardhats
There are several full-brim hardhats on the market that feature slots on each side. For these, Paulson has developed full-brim slotted hat brackets for MSA® and North® slotted full-brim hardhats. This allows the worker to attach the face shield with slotted cap adapters instead of using an elastomeric band. While not as popular as a traditional full-brim hat bracket, brackets for slotted full-brim hardhats are a great option for those who prefer not to use the elastomeric band to attach the face shield.
Popular Slotted Full-Brim Hat Bracket Models:
- AMP-CHSM: AmpShield® Slotted Full-Brim Hat Bracket, MSA® Compatibility, LeverLock® Attachment System
- AMP-CHSN: AmpShield® Slotted Full-Brim Hat Bracket, North® Compatibility, LeverLock® Attachment System
Finally, workers who will not be wearing a hardhat or safety helmet will need to attach their face shield window to headgear worn directly on their head. This is typically a headband with either a pinlock or ratchet adjustment system, and usually feature a forehead cushion for comfort. Most headgear will also feature a spark guard in the front, which will vary in size. Like brackets, headgear attachment systems feature a pivot screw on each side, allowing the face shield to be raised to the stowed position and lowered to the deployed position. Also, like brackets, headgear will typically utilize a cam lock system to attach the face shield window. While headgear does provide some head protection, it certainly won’t provide the same level of protection as a hardhat or safety helmet. In fact, wearing a hardhat or safety helmet is OSHA mandated for many applications, including protection against electrical arc flash. That said, headgear is a popular choice for applications where a hardhat or helmet is not required.
Popular Headgear Models:
- HG4-S: Ratchet Adjustment, 3” Spark Guard, Cam Lock Attachment System
- HG7-H: Ratchet Adjustment, 6” Spark Guard, Cam Lock Attachment System
Over 75 Years of “Quality Products to Protect People”
Since 1947, Paulson has been manufacturing world-class face & eye protection for industrial workers and first responders. Over the decades, we’ve developed an extensive lineup of face shield windows for industrial use, as well as the various attachment systems for these windows. As always, our product innovation is heavily influenced by end-user feedback, with safety, compliance, and worker comfort as the main drivers of that innovation. To learn more about our face shield attachment systems, please contact us today.