Hard Hats – Head Protection at Work

Hard Hats – Head Protection at Work Free Toolbox Topic

Hard hats are a piece of protective gear that most workers cannot do without. Your head is the control center of your entire body. It also contains whatever makes you who you are, your thoughts, memories, and everything that makes you you. Hard hats are designed to protect the most important part of your body. Without them, you are vulnerable to hundreds of deadly hazards at work.

What Hard Hats Do

Hard hats protect you in multiple ways:

proper use of hard hats
  • They protect you from falling objects. The shell prevents penetration and is designed so that falling objects are deflected away from your body after striking the hat. The suspension system absorbs the impact to prevent head and neck injuries.
  • They prevent you from bumping your head. How many times has your hard hat bumped into something while you were working? That could have been your head!
  • Hard hats can protect from electrical shock if they are rated for this purpose.
  • They can be a place to display your safety knowledge. Many training organizations give out hard hat stickers for you to show what you’ve been trained on, such as first aid and CPR.

Caring for Your Hard Hat

If you take care of your hard hat, it will take care of you. PPE that is neglected is prone to damage and potential failure when you need it the most. If the plastics become weak or brittle, they may fail in an impact.

  • Keep all parts clean and avoid getting chemicals on them.
  • Do not cut, bend, drill holes, or modify your hard hat in any way.
  • Do not store it in direct sunlight. You should store it in a way that protects it from being warped or damaged.
  • Eventually the shell will become dull. When this happens, it is time for a new hard hat.
  • You should read the manufacturer’s instructions for proper care tips.

How to Wear It

Your hard hat won’t do you any good if you done wear it correctly.

  • Adjust the suspension so that it fits snugly on your head. You don’t want it falling off easily!
  • You should never wear it backward, and never install the suspension backward. This is because the hard hat is designed to be worn one way only.
  • Workers should never store anything inside the hard hat while wearing it. The gap is there for a reason!
  • “Bump caps” are not a substitute for a hard hat. This is because bump caps have no suspension and will not absorb impacts.
  • Never use your hard hat for anything besides head protection, such as using it as a seat or stepstool.

Hard hats prevent thousands of potentially deadly injuries every year. They are a simple, but very effective, way to protect the most important part of your body. If you take care of your hard hat, it will take care of you!

This is what OSHA says about head protection in construction.

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