How To Check Your Hard Hat Expiry Date

Hard Hat Expiry Date

There is no legal requirement for hard hat expiry date as it varies based on the condition of each work site.

As a general guideline, most hard hat manufacturers recommend replacing hard hats every five years regardless of outside appearance. If you work under extreme conditions, such as exposure to high temperatures, chemicals, or sunlight, hard hats should be replaced after two years of use. In addition, some manufacturers even recommend replacing the suspension in your hard hat every 12 months.

However, it is important to review each work site to ensure that degradation of employees’ hard hats is not being accelerated due to work conditions.

Hard Hat Expiry Date

It is from the date stamp of the hard hat can you can determine how long the hard hat has been in use, and if there is need for a change.

How To Know The Age Of Your Hard Hat

Different manufacturers states the lifespan of their hard hat.

However, to trace the age of your hard hat, you must know its manufacturing date.

The manufacturing date for an hard hat is stamped on the hard hat – It is known as DATE STAMP

How to locate the date stamp on your hard hat

The date stamp is placed usually below the brim. Simply flip your hard hat over and take a look on the inside.

This is how the date stamp appear:

Hard Hat Expiry Date


Explanation for the date stamp: The number in the middle (13) is the year of manufacture, and the arrow points to the month (5). So this hard hat was manufactured in May 2013.

From the date stamp, you can easily know the age of your hard hat.

Signs That Your Hard Hat Is Due For Replacement

  • If your hard hat exceeds the manufacturers life span
  • If your hard hat is fading, chalky or brittle
  • If your hard hat is dented, cut or deeply scuffed
  • If your hat suffered an impact

Additional reading: Hard Hats – do they last for ever?

Additional reading: Twelve Frequent Hard Hat Questions

NOTE: Always follow the manufacturer’s guidance that comes with your hard hat.

Hard hat must not be used to cover its life span.

Difference Between Hard Hat Manufacturing Lifespan and Service Lifespan

There is a difference between manufacturing lifespan and service lifespan.

Manufacturing life span counts from the day the hard hat was manufactured while the service life span counts from the first day the hard hat was put to use.

However, if the hard hat had a 5 years life span, but spent 2 years in the store before being put to use, then the operation life span left for the hard hat is 3 years. The end of the hart hat lifespan as stated by the manufacturer forms the hard hat expiry date.

Also note that – Hard hat must be change anytime its meet the criteria for replacement; it must not cover its life span. (See replacement criteria above)

NOTE: OSHA Announces Switch From Traditional Hard Hats To Safety Helmets.

In order to better safeguard its workers when they are on inspection sites, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) of the U.S. Department of Labor has announced that it is swapping out the traditional hard hats that its staff wear for more contemporary safety helmets.

OSHA states that the traditional hard helmets, which date back to the 1960s, shield the top of a worker’s head but offer little protection from side impacts and don’t have chin straps. Conventional hard hats lack straps, which means that if an employee trips or falls, the hat may come off and they won’t be covered. Furthermore, conventional hard hats were heat-trapped interiors due to a lack of vents.


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