When To Replace Your Hard Hat

Hard hats are one of the most recognizable and invaluable pieces of protective equipment. As most construction professionals know, wearing a hard hat protects the head by deflecting and absorbing the impact from falling objects. Even something as small as a washer can result in significant brain injury as objects accumulate both speed and force as they fall. In many cases, hard hats can mean the difference between life and death or a serious injury. But if a hat is worn past its useful life, it cannot offer the appropriate protection. Here are some guidelines to help you know when you need replace your hat:

  • ALWAYS replace a hard hat after it has withstood any form of impact or piercing;
  • If the shell is brittle, chalky in appearance or if the color is faded, these are signs of deterioration and signal that your hat must be replaced;
  • Manufacturers recommend that hard hats be replaced every 5 years, regardless of appearance, as performance declines after that time;
  • Suspension inside the hard hat should be replaced every 1-2 years, depending on usage;
  • If you keep your hard hat in your car and/or it is exposed to excessive sun, heat, chemicals, perspiration, or other substances, consider replacing your hard hat every two years - or more often, depending on condition;
  • Be sure to inspect your hat regularly and if there are cracks, dents, or damage, replace it immediately.