When it comes to the practices that protect your crew members on the job, proper hard hat fit is something few people consider. Hard hats play an important role in helping safeguard against injuries due to falls — or falling objects — however, and the right fit makes a difference. General Chipping has pulled together a few top tips regarding hard hat fit to encourage worker safety.
Pay attention to shape and sizing.
No two workers’ heads are exactly the same shape, and a proper hard hat for one person might not work for someone else. Consider adjustable hard hats, which work well for a wide variety of workers. Generally, the right hard hat will allow some space between the outer shell and interior suspension system. Not only does this allow air to circulate, but it can help lessen the impact in the event of a fall. Remember, while a hard hat should have a snug, secure fit, it should never feel too tight.
Don’t let accessories get in the way.
A bandana over the head might help ward off dripping sweat, but if it wasn’t made to be worn with hard hats, it’s best to avoid it altogether. Scarves, hair barrettes, beanies and similar items can all lead to hard hat slippage, and place the wearer in a dangerous situation. Many hard hat companies manufacture accessories specifically meant to be used with their products — sun shields, sweatband liners and the like.
Protect your hard hat, so it can protect you.
While not related specifically to proper hard hat fit, maintenance is one of the best ways to ensure a hard hat will provide adequate protection on the job. OSHA offers some great advice: Clean your hard hats, but avoid using abrasive cleaners that might weaken the materials. Regularly check for cracks, tears or frayed straps — and immediately replace a hard hat that has sustained an impact. Avoid leaving hard hats on dashboards or window sills where they will be exposed to unnecessary sunlight. As a general rule, a hard hat’s shell will last about two to five years, while its interior suspension should be replaced at least once a year.
Looking for other advice on how to keep your crew safe? General Chipping is glad to help. Check out our other blog posts, and visit our Safety page to learn more. As always, you’re welcome to Contact our team. We would love to hear from you!