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 caution. Workers are advised to return hard hats as frequently as every 6 months.
4 Signs You Need a New Hard Hat
It is a common practice of workers from some states to replace their safety hats after 6 months of use.
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 judgment; if signs of wear are visible, replace your hard cap.
- Cracks, dents, tears, or holes in the shell
- Gaps in the suspension system
- Frayed suspension straps
- Brittleness of the shell
Safety hard hats wear quickly in environments where employees are exposed to intense conditions, such as sunlight and water pressure, or construction sites with 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 indoors in clean conditions. In some cases, safety hats are rated based on their ability to withstand volts of electrical charge.
No safety item is indestructible. Use your best judgment and replace or repair any damaged safety gear until it meets or exceeds OSHA’s minimum requirements for workplace safety.
How to determine your hard hat's expiration date
ANSI ( American National Standards Institute ) and OSHA ( Occupational Safety and Health Administration) suggest checking the manufacturer’s instructions to determine the service life of your safety hats.
You should replace hard hats after 4 to 5 years of use, regardless of their appearance.
ANSI requires manufacturers to print information such as the manufacture date inside the hard hat. The most extended a hard hat should be in service is 4 to 5 years from the date of manufacture. But it is only applicable when your cap is not damaged.
Work in extreme conditions? You may need to replace the hard hat within 2 years of use.
Wear all the right safety gear, such as safety glasses, with your hard hats. The service life of personal protective equipment like hard hats is specific to the environment, job, and maintenance task. You should replace the hard hat suspension every two years.W
Keep a buying date record so 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 functional safety hard hats can provide. Since a hard hat is personal protective equipment (PPE) worn daily, you may wonder when to replace your old hard cap.
A hard hat is made of high-density polyethylene, a 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. The 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. Head protection and other personal safety gear have been a part of Harmony since 2006. We continue to supply industrial powerhouses with the gear they need to keep their employees safe.