Wearing A Hard Hat Backwards
Bullard ANSI Z89 Type 1 hard hats have been tested and found to be compliant to the requirements
of the standard when worn with the shell turned backwards.
To perform properly in this manner, the suspension must be reversed in the helmet, so that the
headband is oriented normally to the wearer's head (i.e., with the brow pad against the forehead and
the extended nape strap at the base of the skull). In this manner, only the shell of the helmet is
backwards on the head. This applies to Z89.1-1997 Type 1 helmets only (Bullard models 302RT, 303,
502, 911C, 911H, 3000, 4100, 5100, 5100P, and Atlas).
ANSI Z89.1-1997 Type 2 helmets (Advent and Vector), because of the lower rear edge of the shell
and the asymmetrical pattern of protection offered by their more complex design, should not be worn
Objects Inside a Hard Hat
This technical bulletin concerns the matter of wearing or placing objects, such as baseball caps, inside
a hard hat.
Bullard hard hats/caps meet or exceed ANSI Z89.1-1997 standards for industrial worker protective
headwear. Currently, there are no requirements or tests to examine the effect that a cap or any other
object worn inside a hard hat may have on hard hat performance. Therefore, Bullard recommends
that hard hat users should never carry or wear anything inside a hard hat.
Bullard makes this recommendation for the following reasons:
1. A clearance must be maintained between the hard hat shell and the wearer's head for the
protection system to work properly. An additional cap or other object may limit this clearance.
2. Wearers may be unaware that the cap or object contains metal parts, such as a metal button at
the top of a baseball cap, which may diminish the dielectric protection provided by the hard hat.
3. Under no circumstances should any item be placed above or below the crown straps. This will
effect the performance of the hard hat.
Users should note that some products, such as fabric winterliners and cotton sunshades, are designed
to work in conjunction with hard hats.
Useful Life of a Hard Hat
Users of industrial head protection devices must realize that these products do not have an indefinite
useful life. Bullard recommends that a regular head protection replacement program be conducted by
employers as a responsive solution to the task of addressing service life of hard hats/caps.
Since the details of such a program must be developed based on work conditions at each job site, it is
impossible to provide a specific time frame for cap replacement. As a general guideline, many large
corporations replace all employees' caps every five years, regardless of the cap's outward
Where user environments are known to include higher exposure to temperature extremes, sunlight or
chemicals, hard hats/caps should be replaced automatically after two years of use. This is based on
information and cap samples returned to Bullard after exposure to such conditions. In certain rare
instances, a cap should be replaced within less than two years.
If a cap has been struck by a forcible blow of any magnitude, both the hard hat shell and suspension
should be replaced immediately, even if no damage is visible.
The following is a simple field test that can be performed by an employee or supervisor to determine
possible degradation of polyethylene shells:
Compress the shell inward from the sides about 1" (2.5 cm) with both hands and then release the
pressure without dropping the shell. The shell should quickly return to its original shape, exhibiting
elasticity. Compare the elasticity of the sample with that of a new shell. If the sample does not exhibit
elasticity similar to that of a new shell, or if it cracks due to brittleness, it should be replaced