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Now That’s Using Your Head!

Hard hats are a staple item on any construction site and in many other workplace applications. But, that wasn’t always the case.  In fact, before there were hard hats, standards and regulations, workers used to smear their hats with tar and let them dry in the sun.  Today we have many more advances, options, choices, colors, accessories, and the list goes on.  But there are some questions that people still have about wearing a hard hat.


What is the shelf life of a hard hat or safety helmet?
The recommended shelf life for JSP hard hats and safety helmets is 10 years from the date of manufacture.  You will find this date under the peak of the hat.  This is a maximum life for head protection.  It is very important that regular daily inspections are carried out and the equipment to be replaced if any damage is evident.

How often do I need to change my hard hat or safety helmet?
In some cases OSHA will have set a maximum time that a hard hat or safety helmet can be used for, determining the change point.  The user must be aware that the equipment may need changing before this date and give it a daily inspection.  Any evidence of the head protection product having been dropped from height or having received a blow will mean it should be changed.  In addition, any cracking to the shell or suspension, missing parts, or dirt build up that cannot be cleaned, are all reasons for changing the hat or suspension.

View our entire selection of head protection products and accessories on SPISafety.com!


Can I store my hard hat or safety helmet in my car?
Your hard hat or safety helmet can be transported of course in your vehicle, but JSP strongly advises against storing it there.  Cars in particular go through a very large temperature cycle in 24 hours, particularly if it is a sunny day.  Continuous temperature cycling should be avoided, as should direct sunlight exposure, for shell damage.

What happens if my hard hat or safety helmet falls just once?
If your hard hat or safety helmets falls from your head to the level on which you are standing when you bend over, then it should be fine to keep using.  If you are working at height and it falls, then it should be replaced with a new one.  Consider adding a chin strap so that you can bend your head down and it will not fall off.  This might also be a consideration when working at height for dropped objects.


If vented, what temperature difference does it offer?
The temperature difference offered depends a lot on the ambient conditions.  Testing at Liverpool University has shown that under laboratory conditions with no wind, and when exercising, venting in the shell can result in a head temperature 4˚-6˚lower than a non-vented option.  An outdoor breeze will have the effect of drawing the heat out and through the vents also resulting in a higher temperature drop.

Why can’t I use a vented hard hat or safety helmet to do electrical repairs?
There is a possibility that if you are working with live conductors that one could pass through the vents in the shell and contact the wearer.  Only non-vented hard hats or safety helmet can meet the Class E Electrical testing under ANSI Z89.1.  The electrical current can pass through the ventilation holes.


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Check out another of our popular blog posts:  6 Actions to Reduce Worker Fatigue

Article content provided by JSP and PIP.

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