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Did your hard hat expire?

- July 11, 2012 by Pam McIntire, ARM (View all posts by Pam)

I just ran across an article on ehow.com that discusses the importance of replacing hard hats after they expire and has great reminders about proper care of hard hats.  I’ve listed some of the highlights from that article below:

  • Hard hats should not be in service for longer than four to five years depending on manufacturer guidelines.  Using a permanent marker to write the first date of use inside the hard hat can help you track this.
  • Check the date of manufacture on the inside of your hard hat if you did not write a date on your hard hat when you started using it. Based on the manufacturer’s guidelines, you can determine whether the hat has expired.

    Date of Manufacture

    Date of Manufacture

  • Proper care of your hard hat includes washing it with a mild detergent and water and inspecting it for damage on a regular basis.
  • Inspect the shell for signs of damage such as dents, gouges, scrapes, holes or cracks.  Other signs of aging include a shell that is fading or chalky looking or a suspension with signs of wear such as fraying, cuts or tears and dirt.
  • The suspension on the inside should be replaced every twelve months.  Replace with a product from the same manufacturer.
  • You should never paint your hard hat and there are guidelines to follow if you apply any stickers.
  • If you drop your hard hat or something hits it, it may no longer be safe to use.
  • Storing your hard hat on a dash board or in the back window of your car causes the same sun damage as wearing your hard hat outside and decreases its useful life.

Hard hats are an essential piece of personal protective equipment.  Keep yours top condition!