HARD HAT INSPECTION & MAINTENANCE

Hard hat manufacturers recommend that hard hats be replaced every five years, regardless of appearance, as performance decreases after that period. You should replace the suspension inside the hard hat every year.

ROUTINELY INSPECT THE HARD HAT SHELL FOR:

  • Cracks.
  • Nicks.
  • Dents.
  • Gouges.
  • Damage caused by impact, penetration or abrasions.
  • Stiffness.
  • Brittle.
  • Fading or chalky appearance.

REPLACE YOUR HARD HAT MORE FREQUENTLY IF IT’S REGULARLY EXPOSED TO:

  • Sunlight.
  • Ultraviolet rays (welding).
  • Chemicals.
  • Temperature extremes.
  • Forcible blows.

MODIFICATION DOS & DON’TS

  • Limit the use of stickers. They can hide cracks or other damage to the hard hat.
  • Don’t modify the shell or suspension.
  • Don’t drill ventilation holes in the shell.
  • Never use a suspension that’s not intended for use in your hard hat shell.
  • Don’t carry or wear anything inside of your hard hat between the suspension and the shell.
  • Hard hats must have the reverse orientation (worn backwards) arrow on the inside of the hard hat to be worn backwards. The reverse orientation performance mark specifies the hard hat meets the reverse donning standards stated in ANSIZ89.1 or CSAZ94.1
  • If the shell is damaged, replace the hard hat immediately!

The hard hat is one of the oldest, most widely used and most important pieces of personal protective equipment on the job. Take care of it. Don’t misuse it. It may save your life.

Download a printable PDF and recording form here.

Tips for Work Zone Safety

Originally published on 04/18/2018

Every day, highway, heavy and utility construction workers are exposed to traffic hazards as part of their daily work routine. Some of the hazards include moving construction vehicles, noise from motors and vehicles, limited visibility, night work and limited lighting, close proximity to traffic, inclement weather and slips, trips and falls.

Although work zone hazards vary, and there are no “one size fits all” procedures, here are a few tips that can be followed to help workers protect themselves in works zones.

When working in traffic, be sure to wear the required personal protective equipment such as:

  • Reflective, high-visibility vests or clothing
  • Hard hats
  • Eye protection
  • Protective footwear
  • Hearing protection

To help the motorist while protecting construction workers:

  • Have a traffic control plan and periodically review it to see if it needs to be changed. Set the work zone to avoid unclear lane markings and lane confusion.
  • Use flaggers who have been trained to use standard traffic control devices and signals. Be sure the flaggers are readily visible to traffic.
  • Observe traffic conditions to determine the volume condition of the work zone.
  • Avoid standing or parking in places that block road signage.
  • Remove construction debris that can become a hazard for motorists as well as construction workers.
  • Remove worn, old, non-reflective traffic control devices from service.
  • Strategically use vehicles and equipment as barriers between traffic and workers when other positive protections are not available.
  • Use appropriate and sufficient lighting for night work areas.

Other tips to help keep the work zone safe include:

  • Avoid complacency on the job.
  • Get plenty of rest, so you will be alert while working.
  • Be sure all underground and overhead utilities are located and marked.
  • Minimize the amount of time employees need to be exposed to traffic. Get in, get done and get out.
  • Limit the amount of personnel and equipment in the work zone to only those that are necessary for the job at hand.
  • Do not assume that equipment operators can see you. Make eye contact with the operator before crossing in front of or behind them.
  • Create out of bounds areas that are off limits to employees due to the traffic hazard.
  • Ensure that back up alarms on vehicles are functioning properly.
  • Do not run through moving traffic or machines.
  • Provide an emergency egress/escape route in case of emergency, and make sure employees know what it is.
  • Stay hydrated. Construction workers are susceptible to overexertion and heat-related illnesses. Drink plenty of water or liquids high in electrolytes like sports drinks or coconut water.

Follow these tips, and do all you can to ensure your safety and the safety of your co-workers.

Download a recording form here.

Hard Hat Inspection and Maintenance

Originally published on 03/21/2018

The hard hat is one of the oldest, most widely used and important pieces of personal protective equipment on the construction site. In order for it to protect you, it must be regularly inspected, maintained and properly worn. A conventional hard hat consists of two components, the shell and the suspension, which work together as a system. The following tips will help you keep your hard hat in optimal condition:

  1. Inspect your hard hat before each use.
    – Begin with the shell and look for cracks, nicks, dents, gouges and any damage caused by impact, penetration or abrasions. If your hat is made of thermoplastic materials, check the shell for stiffness, brittleness, fading, dullness of color or a chalky appearance. If any of these conditions are present, or if the shell is damaged, replace it immediately.
    – If your work is predominantly in sunlight, consider replacing your hard hat more frequently, because ultraviolet light can cause the hat’s shell to deteriorate over time. Do not store your hard hat on the rear window shelf of an automobile or in direct sunlight. Also, replace your hat’s shell if you work in an area with high exposure to temperature extremes or chemicals.
    – Inspect the suspension in your hard hat. The suspension absorbs the shock of a blow to the top of the hard hat. Look for cracks, tears, frayed or cut straps or lack of pliability.
  2. Limit the use of stickers. They won’t necessarily interfere with the hat’s performance, but they may interfere with your ability to thoroughly inspect the shell for signs of damage.
  3. Replace a hard hat shell and suspension that has been struck by a forcible blow, because the impact can reduce a hard hat’s effectiveness even if no damage is visible.
  4. Never modify the shell or suspension. Do not drill ventilation holes in the shell. Never use a suspension that is not intended for use in your particular hard hat shell. Do not carry or wear anything inside of your hard hat between the suspension and the shell.
  5. Avoid contact of the hard hat with electrical wires.
  6. Because hard hats can be damaged, they should not be abused. They should be kept free of abrasions, scrapes, and nicks and should not be dropped, thrown, or used as supports. Do not sit on your hard hat.
  7. As a general guideline, all new employees should be provided with a new, unused hard hat.

Inspecting, maintaining and/or replacing your hard hat is well worth the effort and expense. You don’t want to be injured because you are wearing a hard hat that has outlived its usefulness.

Download the recording form here.

Hard Hat Inspection and Maintenance

Originally published 06/27/2017

The hard hat is one of the oldest, most widely used and important pieces of personal protective equipment on the construction site. In order for it to protect you, you must be regularly inspect it, maintain it and wear it properly. The following tips will help you keep your hard hat in optimal condition:

  1. Inspect your hard hat before each use. Begin with the shell, and look for cracks, nicks, dents, gouges and any damage caused by impact, penetration or abrasions. If your hat is made of thermoplastic materials, check the shell for stiffness, brittleness, fading, dullness of color or a chalky appearance. If any of these conditions are present, or if the shell is damaged, replace it immediately.If your work is predominantly in sunlight, consider replacing your hard hat more frequently. Ultraviolet light can cause the hat’s shell to deteriorate over time. Also, replace your hat’s shell if you work in an area with high exposure to temperature extremes or chemicals. You can find the date code on the underside brim of the cap.

    Inspect the suspension in your hard hat. The suspension absorbs the shock of a blow to the top of the hard hat. Look for cracks, tears, frayed or cut straps or lack of pliability. All keys should fit tightly and securely into their respective key slots. Refer to the manufacturer’s instructions for assembly. Replace your suspension if it shows signs of wear or damage.

  2. Limit the use of stickers. They won’t necessarily interfere with the hat’s performance, but they may interfere with your ability to thoroughly inspect the shell for signs of damage.
  3. Replace a hat that has been struck by a forcible blow. The impact can reduce a hard hat’s effectiveness.
  4. Never modify the shell or suspension. Do not drill ventilation holes in the shell. Never use a suspension that is not intended for use in your particular hard hat shell. Do not carry or wear anything inside of your hard hat between the suspension and the shell.
  5. Don’t wear your hard hat backwards unless the manufacturer certifies that it is safe to do so. You should have written verification from the manufacturer that your hard hat has been tested and that it complies with the requirements of the American National Standards Institute when worn with the bill turned to the rear. The manufacturer may specify that the suspension should be reversed in the helmet to ensure adequate protection. Always follow the manufacturer’s instructions.

Inspecting, maintaining and/or replacing your hard hat is well worth the effort and expense. You don’t want to be injured because you are wearing a hard hat that has outlived its usefulness.

Download a recording form here.