- Claims & Risk Management
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There really is no excuse for not wearing a hard hat on jobs where it is required. Hard hat manufacturers have designed head protection to fit every need and pretty much every preference. From falling or flying objects to electrical shock exposure, hard hats should be worn on all jobs where hazards exist.
Head injuries can occur in many ways, such as from falling tools, falling tree limbs, objects hanging from or dropping from overhead cranes, and much more.
The security offered by a hard hat can prevent significant injury. The Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS) reports that most workers who suffered major impact injuries to the head were not wearing head protection. Alarmingly, a single injury to an unprotected head can handicap you for life—or even kill you.
Maintaining Hard Hat Quality
Hard hats should be treated with care. If one is damaged or the suspension cushion doesn’t fit well, the hat should be replaced.
Hard hats should also be kept clean, and if a hard hat is assigned to someone after having been used by another employee, it should be sanitized.
Never paint or alter a hard hat. The paint will soften the shell and cause other damage.
Types of Hard Hats
Hard hats consist of three different classes: C, G and E. Class C, or conductive, protects against falling objects and are not designed for use around live electrical wire or corrosives. Class E, or electrical, protects against falling objects and electrical shocks up to 20,000 volts. Class G, or general, protects against falling objects and electrical shock up to 2,200 volts.
No single hard hat necessarily fills the protection requirements of all types of jobs, so naturally it is important to follow safety rules and always wear the type of hardhat specified and issued for your particular job.
Chin straps and winter liners are also used with some hard hats. But they shouldn’t contain metallic parts or conductive material. Likewise, if liners or straps are used on jobs where there is danger of ignition from heat, flame or chemical reaction, they should be made of non-burning materials.
Use Your Head
An injury report never makes for pleasant reading. But it’s particularly disturbing to read that the injured person was instructed to wear a hard hat, but chose not to.
Remember, a hard hat not only provides protection, but it’s an indicator that the person wearing it is definitely using their head.
The Safegard Group’s Risk Management Team can assist in identifying and educating workers on risks on your job sites.