United States Patent 3633214

A safety hat having a main suspension and an auxiliary suspension, the main suspension being detachably engaged at a plurality of locations around its periphery by U-shaped linking members which are themselves releasably engaged in slots formed along the inner wall of the hat. The auxiliary suspension is positioned between the main suspension and the crown of the hard hat with the U-shaped linking members supportably attaching the auxiliary suspension to the inner walls of the hat at the slots formed therealong.

Application Number:
Publication Date:
Filing Date:
Primary Class:
International Classes:
A42B3/14; (IPC1-7): A42B3/00
Field of Search:
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US Patent References:
3388405Suspension for safety headgear1968-06-18Simpson et al.
3383705Safety hat suspension system1968-05-21Raschke
3192536Headgear and hammock assembly connecting means therefor1965-07-06Benner

Primary Examiner:
Boler, James R.
I claim

1. A main suspension unit for a hard hat having an arcuate crown portion comprising

2. A main suspension unit for a hard hat having an arcuate crown portion as recited in claim 1 wherein said legs are attached to said connecting section at different angles whereby said legs lay in different planes.

3. A main suspension unit for a hard hat having an arcuate crown portion as recited in claim 1 wherein said resilient linking members are U-shaped.

4. A main suspension unit for a hard hat having an arcuate crown portion as recited in claim 1 wherein one leg has a slot in its upper tip for receiving a strap from an auxiliary suspension unit looped therethrough.


The invention relates to a safety hat frequently called a hard hat and more particularly to the suspension for positioning the hat upon the head.

In the use of hard hats which are made of a rigid reinforced plastic material, some means must be utilized within the hat in order to position it upon the head. Such suspension must provide for different head sizes and also be comfortable to the wearer. At the same time the suspension device must perform its primary function of cushioning the force of a blow received on the outside of the hard hat. Therefore when persons having different sized heads adjust the headband for a proper fit, they must also make adjustments on the headband itself at each position where the linking members are attached to the headband. The reason for this is that the head is required to be centrally positioned within the hard hat in order to properly perform its function. If the head band is improperly positioned such that at one point it lies against or too close to the inner wall of the hard hat, the force of an external blow to the hat at that point would be transmitted directly to the wearer's head.

A major problem in the past has been the fact that it is time consuming to properly adjust the position at which each linking member engages the head band in order to allow for proper spacing between the headband and the inner walls of the hard hat. Also the positions at which the linking members engage the headband frequently shift while the hard hat is being worn moving the headband closer to the inner wall of the hard hat at various points and placing the wearer in possible danger from a blow received at these points.

Another problem has been the structural failure of the link arms in the area where they have thinned out portions which function as hinges to resiliently mount the head band within the hard hat.

A further problem of the linking members of the prior art was that there was a tendency for the linking member to produce a pressure point acting against the head of the wearer. This was due to the fact that the legs of the linking members were hinged in a single plane and when forced together due to a lack of expansion area produced in effect a solid member which would be pressed inwardly against the head.


The present invention has been designed to eliminate the problems of the past. It provides for a one step adjustment of the headband to the wearer's head size which automatically centrally positions the headband within the hard hat. This is done by means of U-shaped linking members, each having substantially the same resiliency and which have been preformed with one leg lateral offset with respect to the other leg. The end of one of these legs is releasably engaged directly into one of the slots formed along the inner walls of the hat. The other leg is releasably attached in a slot in the headband. Eliminated from the link arm has been its former point of failure, namely the thinned intermediate portion which acted as a hinge. Provided now is a self-centering headband having resilient linking means extending outwardly therefrom to the inner walls of the hat which maintains the headband at its optimum position for absorbing external blows to the hard hat. The linking members attached to the inner walls of the hard hat all have substantially the same resiliency and their coordinating pulling forces from the opposing corners act to equalize the amount of pull from any one corner and thereby automatically centering the headband. The headband will also automatically center itself when the position at which the linking members engage the headband shift. This is due to the ability of the linking members to equalize the forces pulling the headband to any one side and the fact that the arms of the linking members are allowed freedom for omnidirectional movement as opposed to the unidirectional movement of the linking members of the prior art.

The design of the linking members is now such that with the arms of the connecting member being laterally offset it is impossible for the legs to be pressed together thereby forming a solid pressure point against the wearer's head. Also the connecting section of the linking members is now curved to conform to the wearer's head and eliminate another possible bearing point.


FIG. 1 is a top view of the suspension device as looking downward into a hard hat lying on its top;

FIG. 2 is a fragmentary view showing one of the slots along the inner wall of the hard hat in elevation;

FIG. 3 is a front elevation of the U-shaped linking member;

FIG. 4 is a side elevation of the U-haped linking member;

FIG. 5 is a fragmentary top view of the suspension device when removed from the hard hat; and

FIG. 6 is a side elevation of FIG. 5.


Referring to FIG. 1, the auxiliary suspension unit 20 and the main suspension unit 30 are illustrated in their proper positions within the hard hat 10. The purpose of the main suspension unit is to support the hard hat on the wearer's head in spaced relation to the wearer's head. The auxiliary suspension unit is positioned between the main suspension unit and the crown of the hat in order to absorb the force of blows received on the hard hat. Both suspensions are in generally the form of a cross formed of strip material.

The hard hat 10 having a rim 11 is of a resin or plastic material which may or may not be reinforced with fiberglass or some fibrous reinforcing materials so that a relatively rigid hat is provided. This hat is for safety purposes to protect the head of the wearer and is designed to withstand a blow which might be had from a falling object. Along the inner walls of the hard hat are four integrally formed slots 16 as best seen in FIGS. 1 and 2. Thickened portions 12 having internal shoulders 14 form slots 16 for releasably receiving one end of the U-shaped linking members 50. The inwardly extending ribs 18 frictionally grip the link members and hold them in the slots 16.

The auxiliary suspension unit 20 consists of two straps 22 and 24 of flexible material such as grosgrain ribbon which crisscross each other. They have their ends looped through slots 54 of the U-shaped linking members 50 and then lap back upon themselves to form a loop and are stitched together as at 26.

In FIGS. 5 and 6 fragmentary views illustrate the main suspension unit 30. It comprises a band 32 of a size to encircle the head. This band is conveniently made in two sections with section 34 overlapping section 36 and being attached thereto by means of resilient studs 38 on section 36 passing through openings 40 on section 34. The band 32 is of a plastic material and has arms 42 molded integral therewith which extend upwardly at a plurality of locations which in this illustration numbers four. These arms are each provided with a plurality of openings 44, 44' and 44" (FIG. 5) which are strengthened by a raised portion 46 molded integrally with the arm. A top member 48, in substantially the form of a cross is provided with four radiating fingers 50, each of which is provided with a stud 52 molded integral therewith and reinforced by a thickened portion. The stud has a center bore 53 such that it is resilient inwardly and is provided with a neck portion so that the stud 52 on each finger may be passed through a selected one of the openings 44, 44' or 44" in the arms 42.

The main suspension unit comprising the encircling band 32 and the upstanding arms joined through the top member 48 is nested within the auxiliary suspension unit designated generally 20. Both units are attached to the hat by means of the U-shaped linking members 50 which are releasably engaged in slots 16 formed along the inner walls of the hat. The straps 22 of the auxiliary suspension unit are attached to the U-shaped linking members as mentioned previously by looping them through slots 54 in one leg of the link member. The other leg of the link member has a T-shaped head 62 mounted on neck 60 and said I-shaped head is slidably engaged in one of the horizontal slots 64 formed in the band 32. By positioning the T-shaped heads 62 in different horizontal slots 64, heads of different sizes may be accommodated within. The U-shaped linking members have legs 56 and 58 which are laterally offset from each other which when viewed from the side as in FIG. 4 approach the connecting sections 57 at different angles. From the front the link members appear U-shaped as seen in FIG. 3. The legs of the link members are all resilient to substantially the same degree and stretch apart and contract together with respect to each other such that the main suspension unit self centers itself with respect to the inner walls of the hard hat in the manner previously described. Thus with a mere adjusting of the headband size to fit another person the main suspension unit is automatically positioned in its optimum safe position.

A sweatband 68 is positioned along the inner surface of section 36 of headband with its lower edge doubled back onto the outer surface of section 36 where it may be secured by stitching through both the sweatband and the headband section.