Hard Hats – Safety First
Anyone working in potentially dangerous environments needs to wear an approved hard hat.
It’s a vital part of construction site etiquette around the world – wearing hard hats is compulsory for anyone working on or visiting a site. That’s because the risk from falling objects or from tripping whilst walking is increased on a building site. Hard hats are essential pieces of safety equipment as are waterproof safety boots.
The Reasons for Wearing Hard Hats
There are many dangers on a construction site, no matter what size it is, or what’s being built. Workers, site managers and visitors are all at risk of significant head injury whilst on site, which is why hard hats are now worn by everyone who visits a site, from the project manager to the visiting school group. Hard hats help to prevent serious injuries such as skull fractures, brain lesions and general head and face injuries. Injury rates on building sites where wearing hard hats is compulsory have reduced significantly, showing that a good quality, industry-recognised hard hat can make all the difference:
- Protection from falling objects – even the smallest object can cause serious injury if dropped from a height. There’s an urban myth that a penny dropped from the top of theEmpireStateBuilding would generate enough force to kill someone on the pavement below. This isn’t true, but a heavy bolt or a tool that falls off scaffolding above you could do serious injury to your head if you’re not wearing a hard hat.
- Protection from bumps – any construction site is a mass of scaffolding, large equipment, bricks, stones, partitions and other large objects. It’s all too easy to bump your head when walking around the site – either from not bending low enough to get through smaller gaps, or from straightening up too quickly when you enter a room or building area. Hard hats help to protect you when these incidents happen – preventing anything from a small bruise to major skull damage.
- Protection from tripping – hard hats can’t stop you from tripping over, but they can help to protect your head when you fall. Tripping is a common hazard on a construction site, even when all the rules are adhered to. That’s just because sites are so busy with deliveries, moving equipment and supplies from one place to another and the practicalities of digging out and building up. The front of your skull is particularly vulnerable if you fall and the construction of hard hats means that you’ll be far less likely to sustain an injury if you wear one.