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Questions often asked about hard hats

Workers on construction sites are typically required to wear hard hats as part of their uniforms. The Occupational Health and Safety Administration often gets questions about these hard hats, and they’ve provided a few answers to help workers know what to do to stay safe and avoid accidents in New Jersey.

1. Can workers wear baseball caps under hard hats?

While workers sometimes like to do this for comfort or to reduce the sun’s glare, they’re generally advised not to do so. The baseball cap can make the hard hat more likely to fall off or less helpful in an emergency situation.

2. Does a hard hat have to be worn forwards?

In most cases, a hard hat actually does not have to be worn forwards. Workers who would like to wear them backwards can do so without compromising their own safety, as the hats are designed to be the same on both sides.

3. How often should hard hats be replaced?

The answer here depends on wear and tear, so it can vary a bit, and all workers are encouraged to keep an eye on deterioration and replace their hard hats if needed. However, it’s often recommended that they replace the hat itself every five years, while replacing the interior suspension every one or two years.

4. Can hard hats be painted?

No. Most manufacturers specifically state that the hard hat should not be painted any other color than the finish coat. Some types of paint can actually harm the shell and make the hat less safe.

Even with a hard hat, though, you could be injured on the job, so be sure you know your rights if you are.

Source: OSHA Training, “Questions About Hard Hats,” accessed Nov. 05, 2015