21 Apr Hard Hats
Shall = Mandatory. Should = Advisory. There really isn’t any excuse for not wearing hard hats on jobs that require it. The miracles of chemistry and manufacturing have turned out head protection to fit every need and about every taste.
The colors are attractive and have proved to be positive factors in morale and in comfort. In some cases, the type of job a crew performs is identified by the color of its hard hats. This type of team identification—and protection—is also used by football teams, pilots in Air Force units and other groups. The color of a hard hat is also a factor in repelling the heat from the sun.
Hard hats shall be worn on all jobs where hazards exist from falling or flying objects, harmful contacts, exposure to electrical shock.
There are many ways head injuries can occur—objects falling on persons working with stacks of materials, falling tools, falling tree limbs, objects hanging from or dropping from overhead cranes. The list could be much longer and you can probably add to it yourselves.
Hard hats must be treated with care. If they are damaged or the suspension cushion doesn’t fit well, they shall be replaced. They should be kept clean, and if a hard hat is assigned to someone after having been used by another employee, it shall be sanitized.
Never paint or alter a hard hat. The paint will soften the shell of the material or cause other damage.
Hard hats, or protective helmets as they are technically referred to, are of four types—classes A, B, C and D. Each of these classes must meet certain requirements for withstanding voltage and impact as outlined in standards set by OSHA. 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 hard hat specified and issued for your particular job. Construction Safety Standards require that only A and B classes of Safety hard hats can be used.
Many states Safety Standards state that the class C helmet or any metallic head device shall not be used except where it has been definitely determined that use of other types is impractical, such as deterioration from chemical reaction.
Chin straps and winter liners are used with some hard hats. If used near high voltage, only class B can be used. They must not contain metallic parts or conductive materials. Likewise, if liners or straps are used on jobs where there is danger of ignition from heat, flame or chemical reaction, they must be made of non-burning materials.
An injury report never makes pleasant reading. But it’s particularly disturbing to read that the injured person had been instructed to wear a hard hat and didn’t.
So a hard hat not only gives protection, but it’s a symbol too. It shows that the person who is wearing it has brains and that they want to keep them.