Hard hats – Take Care of Them so They Can Take Care of You

Here’s a brief reminder about hard hats. They are designed to protect the wearer’s head from impact. It’s best to not add items to the hat such as clamps, pencil holders, tape measures and the like as they can interfere with the hat’s protection. If a falling object strikes the hat and catches something attached to the hat, it may cause the hat to fall off. Or the impact energy may be greater if the object can’t easily slide off the hat.

There are two basic hard hat styles: full brim and duck brim. Don’t wear your hardhat backward. We see that in the field a lot; duck bills worm backward. They don’t offer the same face protection worn that way. However some welder’s hats have a swivel suspension so the hat can be worn either direction. But it is not good practice to wear even those hats backward unless welding and also wearing a welder’s mask.

Hard hats are generally made of plastic but are also made of laminated fiberglass and metal. Metal or fiberglass hats can last lifetimes, however because metal hats are conductive, they are not often allowed on job sites. Plastic hats degrade over time chiefly due to UV damage from sunlight. Do not store them in sunlight (like on the dashboard of your vehicle). Check them periodically for cracks or brittleness. Take the brim and flex it slightly down. If multiple small cracks appear, it is time to trash it and obtain a new one.


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