Safety Bulletin – Safety helmets – Effective working life

October 31, 2017 Tara

Safety helmets – effective working life

This safety bulletin provides information on a serious incident and safety advice for the NSW mining industry.

The issue
Safety helmets have an effective working life from the date of issue. Certain factors will influence the effective
working life of safety helmets.

Some safety helmets have a date of manufacture embossed on the underside of the brim. All compliant safety
helmets have a label on the inside of the shell with important manufacturer warning advice and a label with
space to record the date of issue.

Circumstances
This Safety Bulletin has been issued to replace SA06-02 Hard hat expiry date. The NSW Resources Regulator
recognises that the effective working life of a safety helmet will depend on several factors. Australian Standard
AS/NZS 1800:1998 Occupational protective helmets – Selection, care and use (section 3) states that ‘field
tests indicate that generally, helmet shells have a life of at least three years. Damage to the harness
components may deteriorate more rapidly in service and therefore should be replaced at intervals no longer
than two years’.

It notes that helmets used infrequently, stored away from sunlight, dirt and extreme temperatures may not find
this guideline / recommendation applicable. Conversely, poorly stored helmets used in extreme conditions of
temperature, may need replacing more frequently’.

Recommendations
Safety helmets require specific inspection, maintenance and cleaning to remain an effective personal
protection equipment (PPE). Australian Standard AS/NZS 1800:1998 Occupational protective helmets –
Selection, care and use (section 3) includes information on cleaning, inspection and maintenance.
Manufacturer’s information, printed on the label on the inside of the shell, specifies particular safety warning
advice that should also be followed.

It is recommended that mine operators adopt a risk management approach, one that is also consistent with
AS/NZS 1800:1998 Occupational protective helmets – Selection, care and use, and the printed manufacturer’s
safety warnings. This will ensure that workers issued with safety helmets or hard hats, remain protected.
NOTE: Please ensure all relevant people in your organisation receive a copy of this compliance alert, and are
informed of its content and recommendations. This compliance alert should be processed in a systematic
manner through the mine’s information and communication process. It should also be placed on the mine’s
notice board.

Go to resourcesandenergy.nsw.gov.au/safety to
• find more safety alerts and bulletins
• use our searchable safety database
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