Do Hard Hats Have an Expiration Date?


Quick Answer

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration and the American National Standards Institute do not specify the exact service life of any one hard hat in their personal protective equipment standards. However, they regulate manufacturing companies by requiring that specific service life information be marked on the inside of the hat.

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Full Answer

Both Grainger and Envirosafety cite ANSI regulations on their retail websites when providing consumers with descriptions and standards for the hard hats that they sell. Hard hat life spans vary depending upon individual work site conditions, according to ANSI. Most manufacturers suggest replacing hard hats every five years as a general guideline regardless of outside appearance. Conditions that accelerate the deterioration rate of hard hats include exposure to high temperatures, heavy sunlight and harsh chemicals, making replacing hard hats every two years highly suggested.

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