Almost all construction work involves some risk of head injury. As a result, an increasing number of employers are making wearing hard hats on their worksites mandatory at all times .

At a minimum, hard hats should be worn any time when:

  • Work is being carried out overhead
  • There is any risk of falling objects
  • There is potential for employees to bump up against hazards such as exposed pipes or beams
  • If there is a possibility of head contact with electrical hazards

Worksafe NZ’s advice on personal protective equipment says:

Industrial safety helmets complying with NZS 5806 (or suitable approved head protection) must be worn at all times while on site where there is a risk of objects falling from above. In fact hard hats are becoming mandatory on most sites in New Zealand. An elastic chinstrap is recommended to secure the hat and prevent dislodgement by the wind. Hard hats should be replaced after dropping from a height or if there are any visible signs of wear and tear. Follow the manufacturer's instructions for replacement (please check expiry dates).

Source: 2.6 Personal Protective Equipment (PPE)



What Standards do ESKO hard hats meet?

All our hard hats are tested and certified to meet AS/NZS 1801:1997: Occupational Safety Helmets. This Standard sets out the specific requirements for protective helmets to protect the wearer from falling objects and hazards in the workplace. Look for these symbols which indicate the product has been passed by an approved testing agency:


Record the date of issue and replace HARD HATS on a regular schedule


ESKO TUFF NUT helmets have a sticker on which the date of issue to the wearer should be filled out. Australian/NZ Standard AS/NZ 1800:1998 states: "

At the time of issue to the wearer, the helmet should be marked with the issue date. Field tests have shown that generally, helmet shells have a life of at least 3 years from the time of issue. Components of harnesses may deteriorate more rapidly in service and harnesses should, therefore, be replaced at intervals not longer than 2 years.

Note that this advice relates to the date of issue, not the date of manufacture. We recommend that hard hats should be replaced routinely after two or, at most, three years of use, especially if the user environment has higher exposure to temperature extremes, sunlight or chemicals. Helmets can’t be expected to meet the standards if their structural strength has been compromised through damage.



The TUFFNUT hard hat is light, comfortable and well-ventilated with a short peak to minimise sun exposure. It is made of UV-resistant ABS material to absorb and resist high impact. The harness is easily detachable and fully adjustable to fit head sizes between 53cm to 66cm. A six-point harness gives much improved safety over a four-point harness, redistributing shock loads over 30 per cent greater area.

ESKO’s TUFF NUT range come in two adjustment styles, pinlock and ratchet. Hard hats with pinlock adjustment are slightly lighter, slightly lower cost, and are usually preferred where the hard hat is permanently issued to one wearer. The ratchet style is quicker to adjust and is better where the hat may be issued to more than one wearer, such as in a site visitors office.

The ESKO TUFF NUT range also includes these accessories: chinstraps, earmuffs, replacement sweatbands, browguards and visors.

ESKO also offer bump caps for lower risk situations. These caps are comfortable to wear and give useful protection against bumps and scrapes on sites where there is no risk from falling objects. Bump caps are recommended where hard hats are not appropriate but some protection is still desirable. But they are not a suitable replacement for hard hats across the board as they are not designed to withstand falling objects. ESKO's bump caps comply with the EN 812:2012 standard but are not compliant to AS/NZS hard hat requirements.



ESKO Tuff Nut hard hats have a choice of two types of harness adjustment: Pinlock and Ratchet.

Pinlock harnesses are slightly lighter and
are good where the hat is permanently issued to one
Ratchet harnesses are more easily adjusted and
are better where the hat may be issued to multiple wearers,
such as in a site visitors office.


There are no regulatory requirements for hats to be any particular colour. However we strongly  recommend you use conspicuous colours like neon yellow in situations where visibilty is vital, especially in forestry or arborist work.

Having hard hats available in a range of colours gives the opportunity to distinguish different workers on a worksite. Commonly used selections are: 


GREEN: Safety, Medical Officer

NEON ORANGE: Roading Crews, crane signaller
NEON YELLOW: Construction Workers, Machinery Operators, Forestry
BLUE: Plumbers, HVAC
WHITE: engineers, architects, supervisors




  • Record the date of issue on the sticker inside the shell and plan to replace on a two or three year schedule
  • Store away from direct sunlight, heavy or sharp objects
  • Keep away from chemicals including paint or thinners, harsh cleaning agents and solvent based adhesives (including some stickers) 
  • Clean in warm soapy water, scrub, and rinse with clean warm water
  • Regularly replace sweat bands, as required
  • If the shell loses its shiny finish or goes chalky, this indicates UV damage; the hat must be replaced 


Regular Checks

  • Hard hat components should be inspected weekly for signs of cracks, penetration, dents and any damage due to wear, rough treatment or impact.
  • Field tests show that helmet shells should last reliably for three years from the date of issue. Components such as harnesses and sweatbands may deteriorate more rapidly in service and may need to be replaced at two yearly intervals.



Click on the link for further information:  SiteSafe NZ guide to hard hat safety



  • AS/NZS 1800:1998: Occupational safety helmets – Selection, care and use
  • AS/NZS 1801:1997: Occupational safety helmets


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