If you work on a construction site, your hard hat is one of your more important pieces of personal protective gear. After all, when you wear it properly, the right hard hat may considerably decrease your chances of sustaining a traumatic brain injury at work.
Impacts, drops, UV rays and even sweat may weaken the structure of any hard hat. Consequently, while always donning your hard hat before entering dangerous areas is critical for staying safe at work, you must take steps to keep your hard hat in good condition.
While it may be tempting to drill holes into your hard hat to allow for ventilation or to tinker with the hat’s interior to make it more comfortable, you should never modify your work headgear. Even affixing stickers or decals to the exterior of the hard hat may interfere with its ability to protect your head from injury.
Remove dirt, grime and sweat
Keeping your hard hat clean not only helps to control odors, but it also gives you the polished appearance your employer expects. When removing dirt, grime and sweat from your hard hat, it is important to follow its manufacturer’s cleaning instructions. Typically, a mild solution of soap and water does the trick without harming the structural integrity of the hard hat.
Replace the hat occasionally
Like the milk in your refrigerator, your hard hat has an expiration date you should not ignore. As your hat ages, it may develop imperceptible cracks and other damage that put your health in jeopardy. Of course, if your hard hat survives an impact, you should also replace it immediately.
Ultimately, your hard hat may be your only line of defense from a catastrophic work-related head or neck injury. By creating and sticking to a maintenance plan, you ensure your hard hat offers you the level of protection its manufacturer advertises.