Miners can be subject to harsh conditions when working deep underground. The environments inside some underground mines can be so hazardous that not only must the worker be protected against head injuries, but also other potentially fatal conditions such as suffocation, and damage to the respiratory system due to inhaling harmful particles. Furthermore, since underground mining often involves the operation of heavy machinery, such as blow torches, jackhammers, and drills, the worker must also be equipped to protect against injuries to the face, eyes, and ears.
Underground mining hard hats are a rather specialized class of hard hats that incorporate a multitude of technologies to provide this type of comprehensive protection, as well as to assist the worker with breathing while mining underground.
There are only a few of this type of hard hat. The one that seemed to stand out from the rest at the time of this writing is the Max Helmet, made available by Martindale and Mine and Process Service Inc.
Inspired by US space technology, the helmet was designed to be an all in one solution for the underground miner, eliminating the need to bring along extra gear such as safety goggles, earplugs, respirator, or a battery pack.
The hard shell is highly resistant to impact, yet extremely light weight. It is also equipped with an advanced suspension system that lessens impact by dispersing it across six points around the helmet (standard suspension systems only disperse impact across four points). Morever, it has a built in air circulation system to help the user breathe better. The system produces little noise, and is no louder than a person’s voice.
It is equipped with an electrostatic dust filter that helps to deliver up to 170 liters of clean air per minute to the user. This filter is extremely effective, able to eliminate ninety five percent of dust and other potentially harmful particulates. Its filtering abilities are effective for an average of 12 – 24 hours, and the rechargeable battery can hold a charge for up to 12 hours.
The Max Helmet features an impact and scratch resistant shield in the front that is designed to protect the wearer’s face from flying debris while performing underground demolition work, or if welding, protect the face from sparks. If a welding or sawing job needs to be done, the user can attach the gold polycarbonate face screen to protect the eyes. Or, if one needs to, can attach any one of the models that are part of the Centurion Connect brand of face shields to better meet the demands of specific jobs on the work site.
To insulate the user from dust, the Max Helmet is also equipped with a chin strap that creates an air tight seal. The face shield has anti-fog technology so the user need not worry about vision being impeded by condensation from moisture in the air, or by his own breathing.
To protect the ears and prevent hearing damage, this hard hat also has ear muffs which the miner can utilize when noise levels are elevated.
A head lamp can be retro fitted onto the hard hat with the supplied clip to help with low light situations.
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