ANSI-approved hard hats are designed to protect you from the impact of falling objects and, in some cases, from accidental contact with electrical current. However, the way we care for our hard hats can have a big impact on how well they do their job.
Your protective hard hat has two basic parts: the shell and the suspension system. Both parts need to be cared for so that they can take care of you. The life of your headgear can be lengthened by cleaning both suspension and shell with a sponge or soft brush dipped in mild detergent and water.
Look for signs of wear such as scratches or gouges. Shells may not last as long if you work in extreme heat or cold, or if they are exposed to chemicals. Under these conditions, they become stiff and brittle and should also be replaced. And if your hat has been hit by an object, saving your head from the blow, retire that protector with honor, too. It has done its job and may not be able to rise to another such occasion.
Each day when you put on your hard hat, pay attention to the fit. This check is especially important if your hair is longer or shorter than usual. If the hat is too loose, your head may be too close to the shell. If the webs are too tight, your hat won't absorb the shock properly, and your head and neck will take the damage. For the same reason, do not carry personal items in your hard hat, which may interfere with the fit.
DOs & DON'Ts for Hard Hat Use and Care: