"Don't be Hard Headed - Wear a Hard Hat!"
Personal Protection Equipment (PPE) can save lives on a construction site. A hard hat is one of those pieces of equipment that protect from serious injury but must fit properly. At Mason Construction, Ltd. our number one priority is keeping our employees safe. Here is some helpful information about hard hats.
Hard hats are necessary when working in areas where there is a possibility of injury to the head from falling objects. They also protect employees from penetration hazards and other risks such as burns and electric shock. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) has outlined a few instances where hard hats must be worn:
- Objects might fall from above and strike employees on the head
- Employees might bump their heads against fixed objects such as exposed pipes or beams
- There is a possibility of accidental head contact with electrical hazards
In order for hard hats to be most effective they must be worn properly and maintained. Hard hats should have a hard outer shell and shock-absorbing lining. According to OSHA, the headband and straps should suspend the shell from 1 to 1.25 inches away from the head. This allows ventilation during normal wear through the day and provides shock absorption during an impact. When selecting protective headgear, it must meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standard requirements. There are several varieties of hard hats so be sure it is appropriate for your branch of the construction industry.
Even if a hard hat meets the standards and requirements, if it does not fit correctly, it is not effective. Ensure proper fit, which should allow for enough clearance between the shell and suspension system. A hard hat should not pinch, slip or cause irritation. There are accessories that can add comfort and convenience to a hard hat, but you must be sure these do not take away from the safety of the hat.
When using a hard hat take time to clean and inspect it. A hard hat should not have any holes cracks, tears or other damage that could challenge the protective element of the hat. Also, be careful storing a hard hat in direct sunlight as this could damage the outer shell.
Make it a safe day!
Resource: OSHA Booklet on Personal Protective Equipment - https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3151.pdf