A hard hat is inseparable with construction.
Everyone has one and everyone needs one. They’re a stable of safety in construction and are one of the most tell-tale signs of a construction worker. They’re vital for your safety and security on site, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t make these pieces of PPE a little more useful. Hard hat accessories can help with this.
There are a few different styles of hard hats, from full brim to carbon fiber. No matter the style you have, there is always a way to make it even more helpful and comfortable for every day on that job. Make use of the variety of accessories, add ons, and additional features to make the most out of your hard hat.
What Do the Regulations Say About Hard Hat Accessories?
Each company may have their own policy for add-ons and you should always check with your supervisor before attaching or adding anything to your PPE. Occupational Health and Safety offers the guidelines that no attachments should be used to cover up any damage and should not be placed within ½ an inch from the edge of the brim.
Inline with most things in the construction industry, many of these attachments or accessories are extremely practical and could help to make life on the job a little safer and easier.
Here are our top 5 hard hat accessories.
What are yours?
1. Car Rack
Where do you store your hard hat at the end of the day? Do you keep your it on the dashboard of your truck? Do you toss it into the cab of your truck? Do you get annoyed by it rolling around in the back or bouncing around as you drive off site?
Storing a hard hat in direct sunlight can damage it, so you should never store your hard hat on your dashboard. Letting it roll around your truck cab or bed can also damage it. It’s job is to protect your head, but it is not invisible. Like most things, they need proper storage to stay damage free.
Using a head-rest rack for your hardhat will keep it accessible, easy to find, and free from damage. They often cost less than $20 and will help to keep your hardhat damage free.
Amazon has a variety of different racks all at different price ranges; There is a two pack of bending racks that can double as a vest rack. They are simple yet effective.
You can also get more technical racks which hold your hard hat opposed to the hook-style. This style seems to require a wider brim so be sure to look at what style of hard hat you have.
2. Pencil Clips as Hard Hat Accessories
Although much of the industry paperwork is done with tablets and cellphones, having a pencil, pen, or other writing utensil is vital on site. Marking measurements, writing down notes, filling out operator books, and any other day to day tasks that aren’t done electronically mean that you need to have a pencil or pen on hand at all times.
A pencil clip makes this easy. It’s always there with you since you’re always wearing your hard hat! Plus, keeping it on your head stops anyone from stealing your pen.
Home Depot makes pencil slips which are apparently better for rectangular pencils, if that’s your prefered pencil type. Texas America does a clip style that could work for any shape or size of pencil or pen. A variety of suppliers can be found online, or ask at about one at your local PPE supply store.
As winter comes around, the days get shorter and the nights get longer. Snow removal often takes place in the dead of night as well. Even outside of winter, many people are hard at work in the middle of the night on roads or buildings.The addition of a headlamp to your hard hat can make work much easier and safer.
Traditional lamps can attach to a hard hat with an elastic strap and some hard hats have a spot to fix them right on the front. There are a variety of makes and models of head amps, but none like the HALO Lamp by Illumagear.
HALO is a newer version of headlamp designed to improve the functionality of traditional headlamps. It’s innovative creation has won awards and taken the industry by storm. It has been designed with the job in mind and even survived a drop test from 25 feet. It is a circular LED light which sits around the brim of a hard hat. It not only makes workers more visible in the dark, but illuminates work areas and can make construction workers themselves safer. Check out the light in action:
4. Hard Hat Sweatbands
Hot days and physical labour makes for a lot of sweat. The plastic band that holds your hard hat onto your head won’t mix well with this sweat. The band could slip around your forehead, or become uncomfortable and itchy, distracting you while you’re working.
Hard hat sweatbands are a great way to improve the comfort and stability of your hard hat in hot weather. There are a variety of brands and designs, from bands that clip around the front suspension to head-covering and inserts designed to cover your entire head. No matter what style you go with, it’s important to ensure any kind of band or lining is comfortable and sits smooth on or against your head.
5. Hard Hat Liner
Wearing a hard hat is required on site, no matter the weather. If it’s blazing hot or freezing cold, there are liners and inserts that can help keep you comfortable all day long. Always try on liners with a hard hat to test comfort and fit.
For The Cold
To keep you warm, hard hat liners are pretty basic. They vary in style, from full head and face covers, head and neck covers, or just head covers. There are even “tube” like covers which come up and cover the brim of your hard hat. Whatever you prefer, there is definitely a style out there that fits you, your job, and what level of warmth and comfort you’re looking for
Often made of wool or fleece, it’s important to consider comfort and fit when buying a winter liner. Because hard hats work by being able to sit properly on your head, a liner cannot be too bulky or interfere with the suspension at all. Thinsulate material is a great way to reduce bulk while increasing warmth and comfort.
For The Heat
Cooling inserts come in all shapes, sizes and designs just like the winter liners. If coverage is a top concern, full shades and neck protectors are a great option. Other cooling accessories like mesh cooling liners and gel pads that you freeze overnight are other creative ways to keep cool.
Just like with winter liners, always put comfort and fit first.
Take Care Of Your Hard Hat
Accessories or not, taking care of your hard hat is an easy way to keep yourself safe on the job. Inspect it often for signs of damage or wear. Clean off dirt and grime using mild soap and warm water. Clean both the shell itself as well as the suspension. Rinse it clean and wipe or air dry after cleaning.
For something a little sticker than dirt, like tar, sap, or other materials, it’s better to replace either the entire hard hat or the component affected. Using any kind of abrasive cleaning material or solvents can weaken the shell or suspension of the hat.
You work with your hard hat every day, so why not make it work for you? These attachments, accessories, and tools can help improve your safety and make wearing a hard hat a little more comfortable; It’s a realist way of working smarter, not harder.
What are your favourite PPE accessories for on the job?