If you wear protective gear while working as a contractor, you need to ensure that protective gear is in good condition. On the job site, a hard hat is non-negotiable. More importantly, you need one that will effectively protect your head. Inspect your hard hat to ensure it does not show any of these four signs that it needs replacing.
Signs of Wear and Tear
Naturally, wear and tear on your hard hat is a clear sign you need to replace it. Any cracks, dents, or holes in your hard hat mean it’s time to look for a one. Don’t let these damages fester or grow worse. One crack, dent, scuff, or hole is plenty of warning that you need to start looking for a new hat.
Cosmetic blemishes are acceptable if they do not affect the integrity of the structure of the hard hat. Fractures, cracks, and dents can weaken the surface of the hat by thinning the shell. If you notice fading on the fiberglass, this means UV rays have weakened the shell.
You’ll need a new hat immediately if your job requires you to work outside often, especially during those hot summer months.
Don’t just rely on the exterior of the hard hat to let you know when you need to replace it. The interior can show signs of damage too. Inspect the suspension inside your hard hat on a regular basis. Check for cracks, tears, frayed straps, or loose pliability. Typically, you want to replace your suspension after 12 months of use, but if you notice damages, you should replace it sooner.
An overstretched suspension might be the biggest sign you need to order a new hard hat. If you can’t properly secure the hard hat on your head, there’s no purpose in wearing it. You don’t want to constantly adjust the hat while you’re working because that will cause a distraction, and distractions on the job site are dangerous.
Past the Expiration Date
Contractors often overlook the expiration date on hard hats. Manufacturers put an expiration date on these hats for a reason, and it’s your job to pay close attention to them. If your hat is well past its due date, switch it out.
Most hard hats need replacement after five years. Base your replacement on the first date of use and not when the manufacturer made the hat. You’ll find the date located on the underside of the brim.
Too Much Decoration
Beware of stickers and paint coats. If you notice your hard hat has collected too many stickers and labels, you should replace it. You don’t want to add too much decoration to your hat because that can obscure any signs of wear and tear.
Stickers and paint can cover up the holes, cracks, and scuffs you need to look out for. Try and keep your hat as bare as possible. At Timothy’s Toolbox, we have a collection of lift carbon fiber hard hats in multiple colors and designs. You don’t need to worry about making them more stylish.
If your hard hat displays any of these signs, don’t hesitate to replace it. One imperfection is often warning enough.