Hard hats are designed to protect workers from falling objects and other potential sources of head injuries, including sharp objects, whenever there is exposure.
Falling objects include, tools, debris and materials. They may fall from the edge of a roof, work platform or scaffold platform or through a floor, wall or roof opening. Other potential sources of head injury include being hit by other workers carrying materials or backing up into stationary objects like pipe or duct work, etc.
Hard hats are designed to absorb the force of falling objects. The force is distributed throughout the head, neck, spine and shoulders and not concentrated in one spot as it would be without a hard hat.
To protect yourself from head injuries always wear your hard hat. Most hard hats only weigh 14 ounces and some of the newer ones weigh considerably less. Hard hats are easy to get used to wearing. Wear it everyday for a few days and you will forget it’s there.
Many workers believe the hats make them too hot. The truth is hard hats help to keep your head cooler than the outside air. Tests done at 110 degrees showed that the temperature inside the hard hat was 5 to 12 degrees cooler than the outside air.
Be sure not to turn your hard hat around backwards like a baseball catcher because the bill in the front is designed to deflect falling objects away from your eyes and face. It also helps keep the sun out of your eyes and the rain off your face.
Always inspect your hard hat before you wear it. If there are any defects whatsoever, discard the hat and get a new one.
Never drill holes in your hard hat to let heat escape. Even a single hole will weaken it. Don’t paint your hard hat either because paint covers up defects and weakens it as well. Hats with holes or paint are worthless and should be discarded. A sticker or two is okay as long as they are approved specifically for hard hats. Adhesives on some stickers weaken hard hats.