SAFETY NEWS – May 2023

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Head Protection

A hard hat is a critical piece of personal protection. It is the last line of defense against objects hitting your head. If your hard hat is not in good condition or used properly, the consequences could be tragic.


Head protection is a vital piece of PPE!

Hard Hat Requirements | OSHA Approved Hard Hats | Graphic Products

Hard hats are the main piece of head protection that protects us from potential brain damage or other head injuries that results from the impact of falling or flying objects. It also protects the head from electric shock. To provide maximum protection, head protection hard hats must be fitted correctly and worn according to manufacturer’s instructions and standards.

Ask yourself?

  • Am I working with any equipment or tools at raised levels above other people?
  • Am I handling objects above head level where there is a risk of the object falling?
  • Am I working in an area with the chance of falling objects?
  • Am I working on a construction site with scaffolding near me or cranes operating?

When should head protection be worn?

  • In areas where there is potential of being hit or struck by falling, fixed or moving objects (e.g. scaffolding or crane operations)
  • Where there is potential to fall from height (e.g. elevated work platforms)
  • If there is a potential head contact with electrical hazards
  • When exposed to UV, weather and extreme temperatures

How does it protect you?

  • Constructed with an outer shell designed to deflect or absorb an initial impact, and
    suspension/harness inside which absorbs and spreads the impact, the Hard hats
    minimize the effects of a blow to the skull. Some hard hats have a chin-strap ensuring
    the helmet does not fall or blow off.
  • There must be no interference between the suspension/ harness in the hard hat and
    the head, so it is recommended not to wear clothing items/ “hoodies” on the head
    when wearing a hard hat unless they are close-fitting/flat top beanies and do not
    obstruct the fit or stability of hard hat.

Care and Maintenance

  • Store in clean dry area, away from direct sunlight
  • Inspect your head protection at least weekly – check for cracks, frayed straps, dents,
    penetrations, and any other signs of damage. You may want to check with the
    manufacturer’s instructions for inspection.
  • Replace immediately if notice any signs of damage or wear.
    Always remove and replace a hard hat if it sustains an impact, even if damage is not
  • Clean by scrubbing immersing in warm soapy water and rinsing in water.
  • A simple test you can do is squeeze the sides of the hard hat together and listen and
    feel for signs of cracking or stress.
  • Your hard hat should be replaced 3 years after first use or 5 years after the
    manufacture date. Some suspension components may need to be replaced at
    intervals no longer then 2 years.

Key Points

  • Wearing head protection is one of the easiest ways to protect your head from injury
  • Inspect your hard hat each time you wear it, or at least weekly
  • Do not wear the head protection over thick beanies or over “hoodies”
  • Always replace hard hat if it sustains an impact, even if damage isn’t noticeable


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