When Should You Replace Your Hard Hat?

Summary – Cracks and dents are obvious signs you need a new hard hat. Regardless of use or appearance, replace hard hats after 4 to 5 years out of an abundance of caution. Workers are advised to replace hard hats as frequently as every 6 months.

4 Signs You Need a New Hard Hat

  1. Cracks, dents, tears or holes in the shell
  2. Cracks in the suspension system
  3. Frayed suspension straps
  4. Brittleness of the shell

It is a common practice of workers from some states to replace their safety hats after 6 months of use due to harsh conditions. But, whenever you see one of these four signs, replace your hat with new head protection. Although there is no standardized protocol, use your best judgement; if signs of wear are visible, replace your hard hat.

Safety hard hats wear quickly in environments where employees are exposed to intense conditions. Such as sunlight and water pressure, or construction sites where there are falling objects, dust, and grime. The heat dries out the hat causing it to crack.

These hats should be replaced more often than ones worn by workers who perform their duties indoor in clean conditions. In some cases, safety hats are rated based on their ability to withstand volts of electrical charge. When damaged or cracked, hard hats can’t withstand as much charge.

No safety item is indestructible. Use your best judgement and replace or repair any damaged safety gear until it meets or exceeds OSHA’s minimum requirements for workplace safety.

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How to determine your hard hat's expiration date

ANSI ( American National Standards Institute ) and OSHA ( Occupational Safety and Health Administration) suggest to check the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the service life of your safety hats.

It is recommended that you replace hard hats after 4 to 5 years of use, regardless of their appearance.

ANSI requires manufacturers print information such as the manufacture date inside the hard hat. The longest a hard hat should be in service is 4 to 5 years from the date of manufacture. But, it is only applicable when your hat is not damaged.

Work in extreme conditions? You may need to replace the hard hat within 2 years of use.

The service life of personal protective equipment like hard hats is specific to the environment, job, and maintenance task. It is advisable that you replace hard hat suspension every two years. Be sure to wear all the right safety gear, such as safety glasses with your hard hats.

Keep a record of buying date so that you can replace your head protection on time. Visually inspect the suspension, shell, and headband of the hard hat.

Don’t ignore dents, cracks or wear as it can seriously reduce the ability of a hat to provide sufficient protection.

Is a hard hat a type of PPE?

From construction to electrical repair, workers need the protection that only functioning safety hard hats can provide. Since a hard hat is a personal protective equipment (PPE) worn daily, you may be wondering when you should replace your old hard hat.

From construction to electrical repair, workers need the protection that only functioning safety hard hats can provide. Since a hard hat is a personal protective equipment (PPE) worn daily, you may be wondering when you should replace your old hard hat.

A hard hat is made of high-density polyethylene which is wear-resistant and durable material. Still, it is a material that breaks down. If you were hard of hearing, you would use double hearing protection. Same logic applies to your head!

Exposure to harsh work environments [such as chemicals and temperature extremes] and daily wear and tear, degrade the protective properties of hard hats.

Where can you buy hard hats?

Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies is your source for hard hats, bump caps, and all the hard hat accessories you need to stay safe on the job. Hard hats and safety gear have been apart of Harmony since 2006 and we continue to supply industrial powerhouses with the gear they need to keep their employees safe.

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Welcome to Harmony Lab & Safety Supplies – protect you and your workforce with Harmony. Founded in 2006 in the state of California, we are a master supply distributor for scientific, industrial, and technological environments. On this blog we provide information from our over 15 years of experience in business and decades more combined experience among our staff.


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