Is it time for a new hard hat? The most common misconception when it comes to hard hats is they last forever. OSHA does not specify the service life of a hard hat, and there is no standard expiration time frame for hard hats. Hard hat life spans may vary depending on the conditions of each work sites. As a general guideline, most hard hat manufacturers recommend replacing hard hats every five years regardless of outside appearance. If you work under extreme conditions such as exposure to high temperatures, chemicals or sunlight, hard hats should be replaced after two years of use. In addition, some manufactures even recommend replacing the suspension in your hard hat every 12 months. Considering the main purpose of a hard hat is to protect your brain, it’s important for you to inspect and replace hard hats on a regular basis. Below are some general tips when it comes to wearing hard hats.
- Wear it – Hard hats can’t do their job if they are not worn.
- Inspect it – Inspect your hard hat before you wear it. Make sure their are not any cracks, dents or tears.
- Maintain it – Clean the hat and suspension with soap and water. Store your hard hat in a cool place away from direct sunlight.
- Replace it – Hard Hats are designed to protect you only once. If your hard hat has been hit with a blow or dropped from high heights, replace it.