Do hard hats expire?

Do Hard Hats Expire? Hard Hats for Dummies

Okay let’s set this straight for once. Are there expiration dates on hard hats? Debunking hard hat myths, one at a time. Bam💢 bam💢 bam!💢   

What is the date I see marked on the hard hat?

As I’m sure you are well aware, most hard hats have a date recorded on the inside of the hard hat. This is NOT an expiration date. This is actually the manufacture date – the date the hard hat was manufactured.

That being said, there is no expiration date on hard hats. Hard hats can be used until they retain damage. Whether that’s 5 days or 5 years, that is completely individual.

Being that there are two parts to the hard hat – the hard hat shell and the suspension – there is slightly different protocol on each piece.

do not use cracked hard hatHard Hat Replacement

If your hard hat or suspension is damaged in any sort of way, it needs to be replaced immediately. This includes cracks, holes and dents. DO NOT use your hard hat or suspension that has been damaged.

Is the damage questionable? When in doubt, throw it out! Even a small crack can throw the balance of the hard hat off and it will not protect you. (To fully understand how the hard hats work, see our article on hard hat suspensions.)


replace hard hat suspension after 1 yearSuspension Replacement

Technically there is no expiration date for suspension either however they must be replaced once a year. So, if your suspension is still functional after a year, you still gotta toss it. The suspension loses its full functionality after a year of wear and tear, even though there may not be visible damage to you.

In Short:

There is no expiration date on hard hats. Again, no expiration date. BUT, damage to the hard hat renders it unusable. Additionally and importantly, the suspension needs to be replaced once a year.


BTW, did you know that stickers or decals can be considered damage to your hard hat? Check out our article “Can I Put Stickers on My Hard Hat?” to find out more!

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