SIMCO Safety Series: Pt2 – Proper Use and Care of a Hard Hat

SIMCO Water Well and Geothermal Drilling Education Series:

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Proper hard hats are required by law – and common sense – on any drilling or construction site. The protection afforded by the right hard hat can save a life and keep workers from suffering catastrophic brain injuries caused by flying or falling objects as well as electrocution. But if the hat is worn or used improperly its effectiveness is compromised.

Follow these tips for the proper use of your hard hat for optimal safety:

  1. Suspension:  There should be nothing between the suspension and the shell, as the space between is what keeps an impact from causing catastrophic injury. The suspension has to be worn properly to work, meaning only a hard hat that has been tested and certified to wear backwards should be worn backwards.
  2. Liners:  Only approved liners should be worn under a hard hat to ensure a proper fit. Baseball caps are a definite no, since an impact can cause the cap’s button to drive into the top of the head. Skull caps and winter liners are acceptable only if they don’t interfere with the fit of the hard hat.
  3. Decoration:  We all like to show our individuality and stand out a little from the crowd. Decorating a hard hat must follow strict guidelines. Painting a hat will soften the shell and compromise its effectiveness. Stickers can be applied as long as they are not metallic, don’t cover damage, and are placed at least 1/2 inch from the edge.
  4. Inspection:  A hard hat should be cleaned and inspected every day. Use mild soap and warm water and wipe off any dirt and grime. The hat should be rinsed with clean water, the shell wiped dry with a soft cloth, and the suspension and sweatband allowed to air dry. During the cleaning process, it’s important to inspect the hat for dents, scrapes, cracks or gouges. If the hard hat is damaged at all, it must be replaced and cleaning daily gives you the opportunite to really scrutinize the condition of the shell and suspension.
  5. Lifecycle:  Each hard hat should be replaced every two to five years, regardless of condition, based on manufacturer specifications. If a hard hat suffers a hit or damage of any kind, it should be replaced immediately, but age and regular wear can cause the shell and suspension to break down.
  6. Use: The most important tip to follow regarding a hard hat is to WEAR it. A hard hat can only protect if it is actually being worn at all times when on a drilling or construction site. It only takes a second to suffer irreparable damage or even death from flying or falling objects, so it’s imperative to wear a hard hat no matter how short the walk or how quickly you’ll be off the site again.

A hard hat is only effective if it is used consistently and properly. Wearing a hat that is damaged or wearing it wrong or with the wrong liners can spell disaster for your workers. Make sure proper use and care is taught and supported throughout your business, on every site, every day to avoid catastrophic injuries and to create a safe environment for everyone involved.

Contact SIMCO by calling 800-338-9925 today or simply fill out our contact form online HERE for more information about the any of our new or used drilling equipment.