Hard Hats: Are yours past their sell by date?

All hard hats should have a date of manufacture inside the shell like this.
All hard hats should have a date of manufacture inside the shell like this.

Most jobs require you to wear Personal Protective Equipment of some kind, most commonly a hard hat - but were you aware that safety helmets carry a lifespan of between four to five years of usage (without an accident)? This is outlined in accordance to most manufacturers recommendatory guidelines. They won't last forever as they are made from thermoplastics which degrades over time, impacting it's protective properties.

If you are unsure about the age of your hard hat or you're buying a new one from a retailer, always check the date of manufacture. This can usually be found inside the shell and will help you to determine how much longer it will provide optimal protection before it is considered unsafe. Of course if you drop a hard hat then it is rendered useless, and must be replaced immediately.

There are a number of things you can do to keep your Had Hat it in good condition:

  • Regularly replace the suspension inside to increase longevity of the helmet.
  • Never paint your hard hat, this could warp the plastic and severely affect its performance.
  • If you need to wash the shell, do so in warm water using a mild detergent.
  • Perform weekly checks for any bumps, scrapes, dents and cracks.
  • Do not store your Hard Hat in direct sunlight (such as in the back of a car or van), the sun will weaken the outer shell.

There are other signs that your hard hat may have seen better days, these include a faded or misty looking shell. There maybe excessive wear and tear to the suspension as well. When it comes to safety, people often disregard the importance of their hard hat and never maintain them. They are very important for your safety on site, and that maintenance may make all the difference in the event of an accident.

Not got yours yet? We have an excellent selection of EN 397 Hard Hats to choose from.

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