Custom hard hat stickers
Home|Sitemap|Contact us

Fit and Care

While it may seem obvious, it is important to understand that ill-fitting (too large or too small) hard hats are inappropriate and illegal on the job site. Hard hats must fit correctly – and most are designed with adjustable headbands to provide the best fit possible. As part of this requirement, a hard hat must provide for clearance between the hard shell and the internal suspension band. This is not only important for ventilation and comfort but allows for distribution of force during an impact and can mean the difference between a close call and a devastating injury.

To maintain the integrity and performance, hard hats must be cleaned on a regular basis and inspected daily for holes, tears, cracks or other damage that might result in decreased protection. Hard hats must be stored out of direct sunlight and kept free from any chemicals that may weaken it (this includes paint thinners and cleansers). Any hard hates that show cracking or structural damage to the shell must be replaced, as should those showing heat damage such as chalking or flaking.

Drilling holes in a hard hat is absolutely prohibited and the application of stickers or labels must never interfere with the effectiveness of the hard hat. Each hard hat manufacturer should provide instructions regarding stickers or decals that will not inhibit performance of their product and placement of hard hat stickers must not hinder the ability to distinguish damage or defect. While there is no OSHA law prohibiting the use of labels and stickers, according to OSHA, it must be done "in accordance with the manufacturer's instructions, unless the employer can demonstrate that the altered protective helmet is equally as effective and protective as those meeting the requirements of ANSI Z89.1."

It was also during this time that the American National Standards Institute (ANSI) began developing the first safety standards for head and eye protection on the job. By the 1930s, hard hats were a construction site requirement on several historic and high profile projects including the Hoover Dam and the Golden Gate Bridge.

While popularity of the hardened canvas hats increased, some laborers like bridge workers, whose occupations involved climbing, began clamoring for a hat that provided fundamental protection but without the heft of the hard boiled hat. By 1938, aluminum hard hats (also developed by Bullard) were being produced and became the standard – except in electrical applications, as aluminum conducts electricity. As such, the need for a lightweight, non-conducting hardhat led to the development of fiberglass varieties in the 1940s.

Developments in the plastics industry contributed to further progress toward the creation of what we know as the modern day hard hat. In the 1950s, thermoplastics provided a moldable, lightweight, cost effective alternative.

Today, the most notable difference between the modern hard hat and its hard boiled predecessor is variation. While most hats are made of a high-density polyethylene, they vary in color and in available accessories from sun visors and sweat-wicking liners to radio attachments, walkie-talkies, cameras and pagers. A ventilated version was also approved by ANSI in 1997. Hard hats also come in a variety of colors, which often carry job-site significance. For instance, supervisors or engineers often wear white hard hats, while laborers wear yellow and safety personnel wear red. Those new to the job may be assigned to wear a green hard hat to signify their 'green' position on the crew.

Safety Hard Hats
To those of us outside the construction industry, these three hats may just look like multicolored plastic, but they convey information that can be valuable in case of emergencies.
Home|Hard hats and worker safety |Types of hard hat stickers|Uses of hard hat stickers
OSHA and hard hats |Fit and care|Sitemap|Contact us

© Copyright 2012 All rights reserved.