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Safety Nugget Week of April 18 - Hard Hats< Back to Blog

Apr 18, 2016
By: G. Yepsen
Categories: Safety

Some of FRI staff wear hard hats every day, others of us wear them less frequently.  But pretty much all FRI employees will wear a hard hat sometimes.

OSHA and hard hat manufacturers have some clear guidelines on wearing hard hats and maintaining hard hats.  Some of the recommendations surprised me.  Take a look at the list below.  Do you see any ways to be safer?

  • Make sure your hard hat fits correctly.  Adjust the headband so that the shell doesn't touch your head.
  • Inspect your hard hat daily for cracks or dents.  Never wear a hat with a crack - your hat and head may both split if something falls on you!
  • Get a replacement if your hard hat has taken a heavy blow - even if you can't see any damage.
  • Check the headband for damage, wear, or stretching.  Rinse it out occasionally.
  • Make sure the cradle is firm and the straps are in good condition.  Regardless of appearance, replace straps yearly.
  • Wear your hard hat squarely on your head - don't tilt it.  If you wear your hat backwards, reverse the webbing!
  • Clean your hard hat by dipping it in warm soapy water, scrubbing, rinsing, and air-drying.  Never use solvents to clean a hard hat.  Also, don't paint your hard hat....paints have solvents!
  • Store your hard hat away from sunlight, chemicals, or extreme heat or cold.  Don't leave your hard hat on the dashboard of your truck - where it can be damaged by sunlight.
  • Don't wear your hard hat over another hat.  It won't fit properly and will not protect your head.  Bandanas, skull-caps, hoods, or welder's caps that do not contain metal parts can be worn only if they fit smoothly on the top of the head.  Baseball-style caps should not be worn; they will interfere with the ability of the suspension to work properly during an impact.
  • Don't place anything in the suspension area of your hard hat.
  • Don't throw, bang, or scrape your hard hat.  Take care of it, it will take care of you! 

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