How long do safety helmets last?

Q: I’m a construction worker and I need to buy some PPE for my work, I’d like to know how long safety helmets last.

– Alex Pieter

A: Safety helmets are recommended to destroy the helmet after 5 years. Excessive wear and use in extreme environments will greatly shorten the service life of the product.

The lifespan of a safety helmet, also known as a hard hat, can depend on a variety of factors such as the manufacturer’s guidelines, the type of helmet, and the conditions in which it’s used. However, there are some general guidelines:

  1. Manufacturers’ Recommendations: Most helmet manufacturers recommend replacing the hard hat every 5 years from the date of manufacture, even if it appears to be in good condition. The suspension system inside the helmet (which helps absorb impact) should usually be replaced every 1-2 years. Yet, these timelines can vary, so it’s crucial to refer to the manufacturer’s specific guidelines.
  2. Usage Conditions: The lifespan of a safety helmet can be affected by its exposure to sunlight, temperature extremes, chemicals, and normal wear and tear. A helmet used in harsh conditions may need to be replaced more frequently.
  3. Inspections and Damage: Regular inspection is key to maintaining safety. If you find any signs of damage, such as cracks, dents, fading, fraying of the straps, or loss of pliability, the helmet should be replaced immediately, even if it hasn’t reached the manufacturer’s recommended replacement date. Similarly, if the helmet has taken a significant hit or been dropped from a height, it should be replaced, as it may have invisible damage.

Remember, a safety helmet can only provide maximum protection if it’s in good condition and worn correctly. Always store your hard hat properly (away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures) and handle it with care to maximize its lifespan.

Have a question about personal safety equipment, work clothes, PPE industry? Anbu Safety writer Arlen Wang will find answers to the queries. to submit a question send an email to:

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