Your head is the most important part of your body. It contains the matter that controls your ability to think, speak, and move. Wearing your hard hat is the first line of defense against head injury. A hard hat is meant to protect your head from the impact of falling material and accidental bumping. The hat’s suspension components act as a shock absorber and are designed to absorb or deflect a blow and distribute the impact over a large area. It can also shield your scalp, face, neck, and shoulders against hazardous spills or splashes.
Even if the hat dents or shatters as the result of an impact, it can still take some force out of the blow and off of your head. But do remember that if the hard hat ever takes any type of hard impact, it should be replaced because the suspension mechanism has been compromised.
Hard hat requirements
Only wear approved hard hats manufactured to meet required industry standards. For maximum protection, choose the hard hat most suitable for the work being performed. Make sure your hat fits correctly. A hat that fits correctly will be the most comfortable and provide the best protection. Always perform a safety check on your hat before using it. A quick test is to squeeze the sides of your hat with your hands and carefully listen or feel for any signs of damage or cracks. If you do suspect or uncover any fragility or deterioration within the hat, it should be replaced immediately.
For maximum protection and comfort, the sweatbands and suspension straps must be properly adjusted because the ability of a hard hat to protect the head depends on the shock-absorbing space between the shell and head by the suspension provided. Sunlight and heat can rot the sweatband and straps, so don’t leave hard hats on the window ledge of your car.
Never store your hat in direct sunlight. The UV rays from the sun can also degrade the integrity of the plastic material the hat is manufactured from. Overexposure from the sun cam make the plastic shell brittle and may not protect you from an object strike or other impact. Take good care of your hard hat. Don’t drop it, throw it or drill holes in it. Inspect your hard hat every day for cracks, gouges, and frays or breaks in the straps. Keeping your hard hat clean can extend its service. Most manufacturers specify cleaning the hat with mild soap and warm water and letting it air dry. Never use solvents or any type of harsh chemicals to clean the hats because they can damage the plastic shell.
Always observe and comply with “Hard Hat Area” sites. Remember: a hard hat is a status symbol; it identifies a safe worker, one who believes in and practices safety.