Hard Hats October 16 2012
Hard hats, or safety helmets, have a working life.
Each helmet, when manufactured, has a year and month of manufacture stamped onto the inside of the shell near the peak for easy reading. The arrow in the stamp points to the month and the arrow overlays the arrow. For example, if the arrow points to 9 and the number is 05 - then the helmet was manufactured in September 2005.
If the helmet has been used regularly, it should be replaced after 3 years from the date of issue. The date of issue should be marked on an additional sticker on the inside of the helmet as the back of the shell. The date of issue may not be the same as the date of manufacture.
Problems arise when:
- The date of issue is not marked on the additional sticker
- The sticker has lifted off the helmet
Where there may be confusion it is best to use the date of manufacture as the benchmark because it is permanently stamped on the inside of the helmet leaving little room for error.
In offices, safety helmets are often issued as part of an Emergency Evacuation Plan. These helmets are also governed by the 'use by date' and should be inspected regularly.If a helmet has been stored in direct sunlight or sitting on a shelf exposed to heat, the quality of the helmet will have deteriorated. There are instances of helmets shattering when used after being stored in direct sunlight for extended periods of time.
- Workplaces should develop a system to ensure that safety helmets and harnesses inspected on a regular basis and replaced if necessary.
- Employers should ensure that employees are aware of the need to maintain their safety standards.