As Tree Surgeons, part of our daily personal protective equipment (PPE) includes our safety helmets; wearing these is arguably one of the most important elements of our PPE. So, it is essential that we maintain them and stay on top of our safety helmet hygiene!
Care and Maintenance of your Safety Helmet
- Make sure you are wearing it correctly
– Most, if not all, safety helmets will come with instructions on how to ensure that it fits you correctly. It is vitally important for you to follow these instructions as they enable you to make proper use of your helmet.
This basically means making sure that you adjust your helmet to fit you properly and that you refrain from wearing items of clothing underneath it (such as caps) that aren’t manufactured for that purpose. A poorly fitting helmet will not be able to do the job it was designed to do – protecting your head!
- Check your helmet before you go out on a job/regularly
– Regularly checking your helmet is essential in maintaining it. You should look out for any dents, cracks or any defective parts as any sign of damage indicates that your helmet needs to be changed. Damage to your helmet makes it weaker and less effective at protecting you from falling debris.
- Regularly clean your helmet
– Tree Surgery can be very hot work at times, and our safety helmets do build up layers of perspiration in them while also getting dirty externally, on their shells. Hair products can also build up around rims and foam linings as well. You must keep on top of cleaning your helmets as this helps to preserve them and make them last longer.
Ideally, you should clean your helmets regularly with just soap and water as other cleaning products can weaken your helmets. You should make sure that you clean your helmet both internally and externally.
- Store it correctly
– It sounds simple, but correctly storing your helmet is an important way to ensure that your safety helmet is kept in good working condition. You should keep it in a clean and dry area when you’re not using it, and out of sunlight.
If there are any signs of damage, deterioration or even if you have been involved in an incident and there are no signs of damage to your safety helmet, you should still replace your helmet immediately.
Article contributed by David Mitchell, operations manager of MB Trees (East Anglia)
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