Occupational head injuries are more common than you think – especially in work environments like mines and construction sites etc. One major reason for this high injury rates is non-compliance of safety standards. Workers generally neglect to wear hard hats is poor fit, uncomfortable fitting, style factors etc. Another important factor is the belief that they are very careful while working and do not require additional protective gear.
Occupational safety requirements mandate wearing hard hats and all the relevant hard hat accessories to protect employees from potential dangers that the work environment poses. It is essential that you also understand how to maintain hard hats so that they can provide you with the right kind of protection.
Make sure that the hat has not exceeded its service life.
If your helmet has exceeded its service life, the impact of the injury could be catastrophic. Some of the results of such head injuries could be concussions, memory loss or even paralysis. Some of the injuries could even get fatal. Hence, it is important to check whether the helmet has not exceeded the time limit.
Work space inspection and hard hat selection
Other than safety gear, employers must also conduct a work space inspection to ensure that there are no potential falling objects or obvious standing objects located at dangerous locations. If the removal of such objects is not possible, make sure that you select hard hat accessories and helmets with care. Now, there are two types of hard hats – type 1 and type 2. Type 1 is built to protect the wearer against impact on the crown or at the top only. Type 2 hats protect top as well as lateral impact. This is why type 2 hats are slightly bigger and heavier. This is exactly why you should evaluate your work environment for potential hazards and select the right kind of hat.
Hard hats generally come with 4, 6 and 8 points of suspension that helps distribute the energy upon impact. These numbers represent the number of points of connections between the cap and the suspension. More the number of points the better and this makes the hat more comfortable too. However, the level of protection remains the same for all of them.
Selection of hard hats and accessories for electrical environments is different. The helmets used in these environments should protect against shocks, burns and electrocution. Dielectric hats are of two classes – G and C. Class G provides protection upto 2200V and Class C provides protection up to 20000V. For any reason what so ever, never drill holes in a hat. This greatly impacts the electric resistance properties of these hats.
Customization with hard hat accessories
Despite everything, hard hats can be customized. Caps can be coded with logos and other brand recognition graphics. Do not use chemicals or paints this can damage the hat.
Ensure that you inspect your hard hats regularly and replace them so that you are not exposed to the risk of head trauma due to wear and tear of the helmet.