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!