Do you want to protect yourself from head injuries and spillage on the worksite and want to know how to wear a hard hat correctly?
If yes, then keep reading, as this article will help you know about the correct way to wear a hard hat. Hard hats are an essential tool for people working on construction sites, laborers, and road makers.
Wearing a hard hat correctly is of utmost importance. These helmet-like hats protect your head from severe injuries that may occur due to falling objects, shocks, electric charge, and spillage. But wearing it backward or improperly might put you in a hazardous condition.
This article discusses some tips to wear a hard hat properly. So, without further ado, let’s jump in.
What is Hard Hat
A hard hat is a type of head protection typically worn in industrial or construction settings to protect the wearer’s head from falling objects, debris, and electrical hazards. It consists of a rigid outer shell made of durable materials like high-density polyethylene (HDPE) or polycarbonate, which is designed to distribute the impact force of falling objects or impacts across the surface of the helmet. The inside of the hard hat is usually padded with suspension systems, such as straps or a webbing system, to provide comfort and a secure fit for the wearer.
Hard hats are an essential safety measure in many workplaces where there is a risk of head injuries. They are commonly used in construction sites, manufacturing plants, mining operations, and other similar environments. The bright colors of hard hats also serve as a visibility aid, making it easier to identify and locate workers on a busy site.
Tips How to Wear a Hard Hat Correctly
Severe injuries may result if a hard hat is not worn correctly. A hard hat consists of two parts. The outer part is made up of a hard shell that protects the skull from any sudden blow.
The second part is the strip or the harness that adjusts the hat to your head and keeps it in its place, especially when working on heights.
Below is a guideline for how to wear a hard hat correctly
1. Find Your Right Fit
You should not wear a hat that doesn’t fit you properly as it may hamper your work and may risk your safety. Hard hats are designed based on unique head structures.
The right fit for your head is the one that leaves a little room (Approximately 1 Inch) between the hard shell and the harness.
This way, air can flow easily through your head. Moreover, you must not opt for a hard hat that tightly fits around your forehead as it may cause skin abrasions, irritations, and low blood supply.
Many companies now manufacture an adjustable strap so that you can adjust it to the size that’s fit and safe!
2. Avoid Other Head Wears
You should not wear any other head wearing a hat, a cap, or any other head apparel inside your hard hat. These layers reduce the efficacy of hard hats.
You should only wear specially designed liners for the hard hats that come in winter and summer stuff. Such garments are specifically manufactured to fit inside the helmet without decreasing its productivity.
3. Wear It In The Right Direction
You should not wear your hard hat backward as it is not designed to be worn that way. Wearing it backward might reduce its productivity and risk your safety.
When wearing your hard hat, make sure that it is oriented in the right way. The bill of your hard hat must point towards the front of your head.
Most companies are now designing hard hats that include a reverse donning arrow, indicating that you can wear it either way. Before wearing your hard hat, read the manufacturer’s instructions thoroughly as the technique may differ from product to product.
4. Do Not Forget The Suspension Cords
Most workers leave the suspension cords dangling from the helmet and keep working without clasping them. The suspension cords are there to keep the helmet in place; otherwise, the hard hat will fall off, and you may get badly injured!
5. Protect The Outer Shell
What is the use of a hard hat if the protective outer shell is damaged and non-functional? It would be best if you keep your hard-shell out of direct sunlight.
Direct sunlight, drilling holes in the hard hat, and painting the outer shell weakens the hard hat. A weak outer shell will not protect you from shocks and injuries, thus wearing a hard hat with a weak outer shell would be hazardous.
Some Safety Precautions for Wearing a Hard Hat
According to a survey conducted by the Bureau of Labor Statistics in America. Most workers on the worksite who encountered head injuries were not wearing a hard hat or wearing it improperly.
The survey showed that the workers were unaware of the hard hat’s functionality and the safety precautions while wearing a hard hat. A hard hat comes with different functions.
Aside from a shell and a strap, there are extra holes to accessorize your hard hat and add safety goggles, eye shields, or hearing protection to them. Below are some smart safety rules that you should know how to wear a hard hat correctly:
1. Adjust The Chin Strap
You should adjust the chin strap when working on higher elevations so that your hard hat won’t fall off your head.
A chin strap is adjustable to your head size and face shape that prevents the hard hat from bumping off from your head while working in elevated positions.
2. Look out for Suspended Loads
It would be best to look out for suspended loads and materials and refrain from walking under them. These suspended loads might damage the outer shell if you bump your head in them.
It will deteriorate your helmet’s productivity and hence injuring your head.
3. Replace When Damaged or Flaked
You should keep looking for any damages, dents, flaking, holes, or chalking in your hard hat. As these damages may render it ineffective and risk your safety.
If the outer shell has lost its gloss and luster, you should consider replacing it as the protective luster is significant in absorbing shocks. It also acts as an insulator in electric environments.
4. Keep a Safe Distance Between Head and Shell
An essential feature of the suspension cords is to keep a safe distance between the head and the shell. Some workers negligently use this space to store tools, cigarettes, keys, or lighters.
Using this space as storage destroys the purpose of safety. Because when you encounter a hard impact, the stored objects may severely damage your skull. So, a little distance between the inner shell and head must be kept.
5. Brim to the Front
You should wear your hard hat in the correct direction. The proper orientation of a hard hat prevents splashes and spills from falling into your eyes or directly on your forehead.
If the brim is to the back, the splashes and drips may come into contact with your skin and eyes that will be hazardous.
Q: Why is it important to wear a hard hat?
A: Wearing a hard hat is important for protecting your head from falling objects, electrical hazards, and other potential hazards that can cause head injuries. Hard hats are commonly worn in construction sites, industrial settings, and other work environments where there is a risk of head injuries.
Q: How do I choose the right hard hat?
A: When choosing a hard hat, consider the type of work you will be doing and the potential hazards you may face. Look for hard hats that meet safety standards such as ANSI Z89.1 or EN 397, and ensure that they fit comfortably and securely on your head.
Q: How should I wear a hard hat?
A: To wear a hard hat properly, adjust the suspension system inside the hard hat to fit snugly on your head. The hard hat should sit level on your head and cover the top of your forehead. The chin strap should be adjusted to keep the hard hat in place and prevent it from falling off.
Q: Can I wear a baseball cap under my hard hat?
A: It is not recommended to wear a baseball cap under a hard hat as it can interfere with the fit and function of the hard hat. Instead, wear a sweatband or other type of headgear that is designed to be worn with a hard hat.
Hard hats are essential when working in areas where there are chances of head injuries from falling objects, electric shocks. Wearing a hard hat correctly and accurately is essential as it can assure your safety during work.
This article discussed some misconceptions regarding the functionality of a hard hat and safety precautions for a hard hat. We hope you find it informative and helpful for you to know how to wear a hard hat correctly.