How to Manage Hard Hat(Helmet) in Oil and Gas

Hard Hat(Safety Helmet)

The hard hats are designed with high quality, wear-resistant materials but it WILL NOT last forever. The protective properties of the helmet WILL be degraded by exposure to many common work environments, such as temperature extremes, chemical exposure, sunlight and normal daily wear and tear. The following is a recommend replacement schedule: Hard Hat Suspension - replace after NO MORE THAN 12 months; Entire Hard Hat - replace after NO MORE THAN 5 years. Remember that these are MAXIMUM useful service life guidelines. Wear or damage noticed during a regular inspection MUST be the determining factor for possible earlier replacement. In any case, ALWAYS replace the hard hat after it has withstood impact or penetration.

   * A hard hat’s service life starts when it is placed in service. This date should be recorded in the helmet, either on the ANSI label/CSA label or with the use of a date of service label. The "date code" stamped on the inside of your hard hat refers to the date of manufacture, not the starting date for useful service.

As a general guide, industrial safety helmets should be replaced three years after manufacture, but always check with the manufacturer.

In addition to everyday wear and tear, ultraviolet (UV) radiation can pose a problem for hard hats constructed of plastic materials. Damage caused by UV radiation is easy to spot: the hat will lose its glossy finish and eventually take on a chalky appearance. Further degradation could cause the shell to actually start flaking away. A helmet with worn, damaged or defective parts should be removed from service.

Hard Hat Tests

ANSI published a revision in January of 2009. The significant changes from the 2003 version are three non-mandatory tests and are easy to understand. Each of these tests, if elected to be tested by the manufacturer, will result in three new markings on the helmet.

The three optional test criteria are:

o    Reverse Donning: Helmets marked with a "reverse donning arrow" can be worn frontward or backward in accordance with the manufacturer's wearing instructions. They pass all testing requirements, whether worn frontward or backward.

o    Lower Temperature: Helmets marked with an "LT" indicates that the hard hat meets all testing requirements of the standard when preconditioned at a temperature of -30°C (-22°F).

o    High Visibility: Helmets marked with an "HV" indicates that the hard hat meets all testing requirements of the standard for high visibility colors. This includes tests for chromaticity and luminescence.

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