Pittsburgh-based safety equipment manufacturer, MSA has developed the hard hat from nearly 100% renewable resources. A major producer of industrial hard hats in North America and other regions of the world, MSA has continuously innovated to improve a relatively common safety product worn every day by construction workers, industrial personnel and utility workers, as well as fans at NFL football games.
MSA’s iconic V-Gard line of hard hats, identified by their unique and raised V-shaped crown has saved countless lives by protecting wearers from falling objects and other cranial hazards. The new line of ‘green’ hard hats is designed not only to protect workers’ heads but also the environment.
The new MSA V-Gard GRN (for green) hard hat was developed and manufactured by MSA in Brazil. Made from HDPE similar to conventional hard hats, the major difference is that the HDPE in the MSA V-Gard GRN model is sourced entirely from sugarcane.
Eric Beck, MSA’s Global Director of Strategic Marketing explains that the ‘green’ polyethylene is made from sugarcane ethanol, which results in a smaller carbon footprint (for each ton of the material produced, up to 2.5 pounds of carbon dioxide are captured from the atmosphere). Conversely, one ton of polyethylene sourced from petrochemicals actually releases more than two pounds of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.
MSA, by developing a hard hat sourced from sugar, has reduced the overall carbon footprint associated with the entire lifecycle of the product. Additionally, to add to the green credentials, the polyethylene is 100% recyclable, making it suitable for reuse in non-safety products.
Dr Thomas Muschter, MSA Vice President of Global Product Leadership observes that the environmental advantages of using ‘green’ HDPE in a hard hat are certainly attractive. Very importantly, the green material provides the same high level of head protection that the V-Gard brand is known for around the world. The HDPE sourced from sugarcane provides the same performance and properties as resins made from non-renewable raw materials.
Mr Beck adds that the development provides MSA customers with yet another way to demonstrate their commitment to preserving the planet, with the V-Gard GRN hard hat providing a perfect fit for green construction projects as well as for companies focused on sustainability initiatives.