A hard hat is a crucial piece of personal protective equipment (PPE) used across various industries to protect workers from head injuries. However, if a hard hat doesn’t fit properly, it may not provide adequate protection. In this article, we will discuss how to make a hard hat sit lower on your head, ensuring a secure and comfortable fit.

How to Make a Hard Hat Sit Lower on Your Head: 5 Effortless Steps to Ultimate Comfort

A properly fitted hard hat is essential for several reasons:

  1. It provides optimal protection against falling objects, electrical hazards, and other workplace hazards.
  2. A secure fit ensures the hard hat stays in place during movement or in case of an impact.
  3. A comfortable fit promotes long-term wear and reduces the likelihood of workers removing their hard hats during work.

Steps to Make a Hard Hat Sit Lower on Your Head

How to Make a Hard Hat Sit Lower on Your Head

Selecting the Right Hard Hat

Before adjusting your hard hat, ensure you have the right type and size for your head. Hard hats come in various sizes and shapes, so it’s crucial to find one that fits your head circumference and shape. Consult the manufacturer’s sizing guide to determine the correct size.

Adjusting the Suspension System

The suspension system inside the hard hat is responsible for maintaining a comfortable and secure fit. There are two common types of suspension systems for deep hard hat suspension:

Pin-Lock Suspension

With a pin-lock suspension, you can adjust the headband by pressing the pins on the side of the headband and moving them to the appropriate slot. To make the hard hat sit lower, choose a slot that tightens the headband.

Ratchet Suspension

A ratchet suspension allows for easy adjustments by turning the knob at the back of the hard hat. Tighten the knob until the hard hat sits securely and comfortably on your head.

Swapping the Suspension

If the standard suspension doesn’t allow your hard hat to sit low enough, consider replacing it with a different suspension system that offers more adjustability. Some manufacturers offer suspension systems designed to sit lower on the head.

Padding and Comfort

Adding padding to the top of the suspension can help lower the hard hat’s position on your head. Use padding that is compatible with your hard hat and doesn’t compromise the fit or safety features.

what hard hat sits low on head

Tips for Wearing a Hard Hat Correctly

  1. Always wear the hard hat with the brim facing forward.
  2. Adjust the suspension system to ensure a snug fit that doesn’t slide around or wobble.
  3. Ensure there is a small gap between the shell of the hard hat and the suspension to provide adequate shock absorption.
  4. Inspect the hard hat and suspension regularly for signs of wear or damage.
deep hard hat suspension

Common Issues with Hard Hat Fit

Some common issues that can impact the fit of a hard hat include:

Wearing headgear or accessories, such as caps or earmuffs, that interfere with the hard hat’s fit. If necessary, choose compatible accessories designed for use with hard hats.

Adjusting the suspension system incorrectly, results in an unstable or uncomfortable fit. Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instructions for adjusting the suspension.

Using a damaged or worn-out suspension system, which can compromise the hard hat’s safety and fit. Replace any damaged or worn components as needed.

Caring for Your Hard Hat

Proper care and maintenance of your hard hat will ensure its longevity and effectiveness:

  1. Clean your hard hat regularly with mild soap and water. Avoid using harsh chemicals or abrasives that can damage the shell or suspension.
  2. Store your hard hat away from direct sunlight and extreme temperatures, as these can cause the materials to degrade over time.
  3. Inspect your hard hat and suspension system regularly for signs of wear, damage, or cracks. Replace any damaged components immediately.

When to Replace Your Hard Hat

Manufacturers typically recommend replacing hard hats every five years or sooner if there are visible signs of damage or wear. Additionally, the suspension system should be replaced every 12 to 24 months or as needed. Always follow the manufacturer’s guidelines for replacement and inspection.

how to adjust a hard hat

Additional Hard Hat Safety Tips

In addition to ensuring a proper fit, it’s essential to follow these hard hat safety tips:

  1. Wear your hard hat at all times: In a worksite where there is a risk of falling objects or other head hazards, always wear your hard hat. Removing it, even for a short period, increases your risk of injury.
  2. Replace damaged hard hats immediately: If your hard hat shows signs of damage, such as cracks or dents, replace it as soon as possible to maintain your protection.
  3. Avoid stickers and paint: While it might be tempting to personalize your hard hat with stickers or paint, doing so can potentially weaken the shell and compromise its safety. If you must use stickers, follow the manufacturer’s guidelines on placement and type.
  4. Be aware of your surroundings: Even with a properly fitted hard hat, it’s essential to be aware of your surroundings and the potential hazards present in your work environment. Always follow safety protocols and guidelines to minimize the risk of injury.

Understanding the ANSI/ISEA Z89.1 Standard for Hard Hats

The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) and the International Safety Equipment Association (ISEA) have established the Z89.1 standard for industrial head protection. This standard categorizes hard hats based on the type and level of protection they provide:

  • Type I: Hard hats designed to protect the top of the head from impacts and penetration.
  • Type II: Hard hats designed to provide additional protection for the sides of the head, as well as the top.

Each type is further divided into three classes based on their electrical protection:

  • Class G (General): Hard hats that provide protection against low-voltage electrical hazards up to 2,200 volts (phase to ground).
  • Class E (Electrical): Hard hats that offer high-voltage protection of up to 20,000 volts (phase to ground).
  • Class C (Conductive): Hard hats that do not provide any electrical protection.

When selecting a hard hat, ensure it meets the ANSI/ISEA Z89.1 standard and is appropriate for the specific hazards present in your work environment.

how do hard hats protect your head

How to adjust the hard hat suspension?

To adjust the suspension of a hard hat, you can follow these general steps:

Locate the adjustment mechanism: Look for the suspension system inside the hard hat. It typically consists of straps, a ratchet, or a pin-lock mechanism.

Identify the type of adjustment: Determine the specific type of adjustment your hard hat uses. It could be a ratchet system, pin-lock system, or another mechanism. This information is usually provided by the manufacturer or can be found in the hard hat’s user manual.

Loosen the suspension: If there is tension in the suspension system, release it by loosening the mechanism. For a ratchet system, press the release button or pull the release tab to unlock it. If it’s a pin-lock system, locate the pin or buttons and push them to unlock the adjustment.

Adjust the suspension height: Once the suspension is loosened, you can modify the height by either sliding the straps up or down or adjusting the ratchet wheel, depending on the type of suspension system. Make sure to position the suspension at a comfortable level that provides a secure fit on your head.

Secure the adjustment: After adjusting the suspension to the desired height, lock it in place by tightening the mechanism. For a ratchet system, turn the wheel or engage the lock until it securely holds the suspension in place. With a pin-lock system, push the pins or buttons back into position until they click and lock.

Test the fit: Put the hard hat on your head and ensure it fits snugly and securely. It should sit comfortably on your head without excessive movement. Adjust the suspension further if necessary until you achieve a proper fit.

Remember, it’s crucial to consult the specific instructions provided by the manufacturer of your hard hat, as different models may have slightly different adjustment mechanisms.


Properly fitting a hard hat is crucial to ensuring your safety and comfort while on the job. By following the guidance in this article and regularly inspecting and maintaining your hard hat, you can reduce the risk of head injuries and stay protected in your workplace. Remember to always adhere to safety protocols and be aware of your surroundings to further minimize the risk of injury.