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How To Check The Expiry Date Of A Hard Hat

old hard hat

Yes, you don’t eat foods past their expiration date and, yes, hard hats contain an expiry date as well. But how can you find the expiry date on the hard hat, and does it matter or not? We will tell you details about how to find it.

Hard Hat Expiry Dates

All hard hats have an expiration date which is also called a maximum lifespan. You will think like it will be printed on the hard hat such as a useable-by-date, but actually, it’s not like that. You should find it when the hat was made. It will be a manufacturing date which you will find being stamped onto the hard hat, generally below the brim. You should just flip the hard hat over and have a look inside. You will see something that will look like below.

hard hat expiration date

The number (13) in the middle of the stamp is the manufacturing year, and the arrow is indicating the month that is 5. Therefore, this hat was made in May 2013.

How long is the expiration period?

Now we know the manufacturing date already so if you want to determine the expiration date, then you should know about shelf life or hard hat maximum lifespan. It will depend on the model and make of the hard hat. The standard lifespan is 3 years after its manufacture date. However, it is not always the same case.

Several manufacturers now like JSP and 3M, which offer a 5-year lifespan from manufacture date. The example that is given above, this hat is made in May 2013 having a 5-year lifespan, and it will get expired in May 2018. However, do not expect that your hard hat will last for so long. It can last for so long only if you use it and store it in perfect circumstances. But hard hats are not so easy, and if you care about your head, then you should be aware that you should change your hard hat before it expires date arrives.

It is recommended to replace your hard hat having a 5-year expiration date, after 2 years under heavy use.

How long a hard hat can last?

How long you can expect that your hard hat will last from its purchase? It is a common misunderstanding that you can use a hard hat until its expiry date. However, it’s not the case actually as obvious from manufacturer guidance. The expiration date of the hard hat is its maximum lifespan and not the replacement date.

Hard hats have a tough life since they’re exposed to the different environments, they got bumped and knocked regularly, and dropped also. They are manufactured to endure all kinds of impacts. However, the manufacturer’s guidance that includes statements such as “If your hard hat has sustained an impact, then dispose of it instantly, even if you can’t see any visible damage”. Therefore, if your hat has got impacted during its use, then you should replace it.

The service life of a hard hat begins from the time; you will wear it. You should note this date of hat use, and check your hat for scratches, dents and other damages regularly. How long a hard hat usage you will get out, depends on some factors, like how long you use it, and what happened to the hard hat after usage. For instance, if a hard hat contains a 5-year lifespan, but It remained in storage for the 6 months, then you will get a maximum of 4.5 years of use.

If your hard hat gets hit by some brick just after 3 months, then you should replace it, and you actually used it just for 3 months. Actually, how long your hard hat can last, vary from the 1-day up-to-the expiration date, relying on any damage that has occurred to your hard hat.

What if my hard hat has expired?

if the expiry date arrives in any situation, you must replace your hard hat, irrespective of how good a condition your hat has. This rule will implement even if you never used your hard hat. A hard hat does not get in use right after it is made. A hard hat will be in a shop etc. for the 1st year after its manufacturing, and it will not be used at all.

Obviously, if the hard hat is boxed up and protected also then it will be fine? plastic is used to make the hard hats, which deteriorates with the passage of time. It can lose its resistance to impact, meaning less protection.

If a hard hat is not used, it can be stored in a cold environment, or in sunlight. Different circumstances will affect the performance of a hard hat in different ways.

Hard hats are made to deflect the impact force. However, if its plastic shell is deteriorated, then your hard hat can break, and also striking objects can penetrate instead of getting deflected. If the hard hat’s expiry date arrives, then it’s lifespan is over. The manufacturer knows best about the materials and construction of their hard hat more than you, since they made it. Therefore, don’t need to go beyond the expiry date and trust what they say.

When should a hard hat be replaced?

As we have discussed above you should replace your hard hat when its expiration date is reached. Sometimes, a business or company will apply a replacement schedule every 2 or 3 years, changing the colors or other things to show that when hard hats are replaced. It is the best strategy to make sure that hard hats don’t expire.

These are some things that can indicate that your hard hat needs replacement:
• Beyond expiration date
• Dents
• Scratches
• Cracks
• Painted
• Use of solvents
• Warped
• Scorched
• Taped together
• Exposed to excessive heat
• Excessive cold exposure

In Summary

With replacing the hard hat’s shell, many manufacturers recommend that you should replace the suspension (the straps that will hold your head inside the hat) every 12 months. You have just one head, so make sure that you are protecting your head by using proper a hard hat that is within its lifespan and also in good condition.

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