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A hard hat is an indispensable piece of safety equipment for workers on a construction site. The outer shell of a hard hat may shield your head from falling objects that could seriously injure or kill you. However, just because you wear a hard hat does not mean your head is fully protected from all sources of harm. In fact, hard hats may lose some of their protective qualities over time.

According to ORR Safety, workers may have some misconceptions about hard hats and their durability. It is not enough just to wear a hard hat. You should also understand the proper care involved with having a hard hat so you may avoid a devastating injury.

Wearing a hat under your hard hat

The suspension of your hard hat is the part that rests on your head. Your suspension makes sure that your hard hat fits your head. The suspension also creates a space that separates your head from the outer shell. Some workers like to wear an additional hat like a baseball cap under their hard hats, but doing so can interfere with the suspension’s ability to fit on your head and cause the hard hat to fit more loosely than it should.

When to replace a hard hat

You might think your hard hat will endure for as long as you need it. But hard hats have a finite lifespan. Over time, the structure of the hat will wear down because of exposure. Even the suspension in the helmet might not last more than a year. You might need to replace your suspension every year and consider getting a new hard hat after five years of using your current one.

Decorating a hard hat

You may notice some of your co-workers have decorated their hard hats with stickers or paint. You might consider getting in on the fun. However, decorating your hard hat may actually damage it. The problem is that sticker adhesives or paint contain chemicals that can damage the shell of the hat.

Additionally, you need to keep your attention on the outer shell of your hat. If you notice cracks or damage, you should consider replacing your hat. Decorating your hard hat may obscure cracks and defects. If you do not notice damage to your hard hat, you will not know to replace it with one that can better protect your head.