Whether you had time off from construction or worked all winter long, spring is a good time to inspect, clean, and/or replace your Personal Protective Equipment (PPE).

Hard Hat: Look for cracks in the shell and cracks and tears on the suspension and replace if necessary. (If you have stickers on your hard hat check the helmet from inside as the sticker may be covering a crack or defect.) Manufacturers recommend replacing the shell after no more than 5 years, and the suspension after no more than 1 year. Hard hats do not last forever! The protective properties of the shell degrade from exposure to temperature extremes, chemicals, sunlight and normal daily wear and tear.

Safety Glasses: Inspect the frame for cracks and distortion. Inspect the lens for scratches and dings that may blur your vision. Check to see if your frame accepts a replacement lens (you may be able to replace just the lens). Give your safety glasses a bath! Soak them in warm water with a mild soap. Dry with a clean soft cloth. They will look and feel great after a good cleaning. If acceptable by your employer obtain a tinted lens for summer outdoor work. Store your glasses in a clean place. Remember, if they get dust on them that dust may later enter your eye(s) causing discomfort or injury. Hearing Protection: Start the season off with new, clean, hearing protection. Make sure it is readily available for use when exposed to hazardous noise on the job (according to OSHA, over 90 dbA in an 8 hour work day).

Respirators: Inspect straps, face piece, exhalation and inhalation valves daily for damage and cleanliness. When replacing filters, cartridges, head gear, or valves, be sure to use the same manufacturers' replacement parts.

Gloves: For non-chemical applications, chose a light weight glove of breathable material to prevent your hands from sweating.