The Nikki 1 hard hat from BBF Safety Group is one of the few of its kind to be made from 100% virgin ABS for significantly higher durability and strength.

The Nikki 1 hard hat from BBF Safety Group is made from 100% virgin ABS. Image supplied by BBF Safety Group.

The Nikki 1 hard hat from BBF Safety Group is made from 100% virgin ABS. Image supplied by BBF Safety Group.

It is a premium hard hat for particularly arduous applications, but at a mid-level price point that continues to boost its popularity. Nikki 2 utilises the more widely-used polypropylene (PP) material, but ensures consistent quality with a commitment to 100% virgin PP materials rather than including any regrind material that could compromise strength and durability. Both hard hats have a unique bridged construction, placing the shells among the best side-impact protection on the market.

The Nikki brand of hard hats is used in the construction, mining and power generation. The inner shell of both is engineered with reinforced ribs for increased protection against impact. “What makes the Nikki brand stand out is that it has been designed to exceed EN 397: 1995 for lateral deformation. Independent testing has previously shown Nikki shells to have up to three times the resistance to lateral deformation than competitor products. This is a good indicator of the strength and durability,” highlights BBF marketing manager Deane Nothard.

Currently the testing for lateral deformation is optional in South Africa, but international standards are likely changing to incorporate it as compulsory. “We can assume these changes to filter through to South Africa soon,” notes Nothard. A good indication of the hard hat’s strength is to try bend it inwards from the sides. “Oftentimes it is scary to see how easily other hard hat brands on the market fold with little pressure – especially if you carry out a comparison against a Nikki.”

Testing on the Nikki 1 includes optional testing for electrical resistance, allowing BBF to claim 1 000V resistance. In reality, it has pushed that testing to 4 000V – the maximum the test apparatus could run at – with no significant leakage. “Combine this with the hard hat’s 18 Cal/Cm2 arc rating and you understand why Nikki is ideally suited for use in electrical environments,” points out Nothard.

A turn top adjustable crown vent on the Nikki 1 allows for double crown protection as well as one-hand adjustment for breathability or to close it for protection from chemicals, liquids or falling gravel and rocks. Integrated slots easily accommodate common accessories like ear muffs, face shields and visors.

A four-point comfort ratchet lining facilitates single-handed adjustment, in addition to a Permasweat breathable sweatband and high visibility rear insert. Other features include an anti-glare peak and an ultraviolet inhibitor to protect and extend the lifespan of the hard hat.

There is a supporting ridge for a cap attachment spring, while a contoured rain channel allows liquid to run off the front of the peak rather than down a worker’s neck and shoulders, boosting its comfort.