This Single Piece of Equipment Could Save Your Life [infographic]
Hard hats help prevent serious injuries and deaths caused by falling objects, bumps and blows to the head, object penetration and even electrical hazards. A hard hat shields the worker’s head, face and neck.
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According to the National Safety Council, workplace head injuries resulted in over 65,000 cases involving days away from work in 2012. That same year, workplace head injuries killed 1,020 workers. 95 percent of workers who wear hard hats are required to do so by their employers. In recent years, only 16 percent of people who suffered head injuries on the job were wearing hard hats at the time of their accidents.
A quality hard hat can minimize the severity of injuries sustained from falls, falling objects, impact from low clearance fixed objects, electrical shock hazards and more. The following features enable a hard hat to offer protection:
- A rigid shell
The hard shell helps deflect blows directed at the head. It is also useful in protecting the head and face against harmful chemicals or hot objects.
- A suspension system
Acting as a shock absorber, the suspension system ensures that the distance between the head and shell is maintained and any impact from falling objects or falls is minimized. Storing any materials in the protective space can lead to serious injury or death since impact forces the objects against the head.
- An insulator
Not all hard hats are equipped with protection against electrical shock. When workers are exposed to electrical hazards, it is vital that they make sure they are using hard hats that are properly rated.
- The convex top and brim
Any splashes, drips and spills are prevented from landing directly on or touching the scalp. Chemicals are redirected from the facial region, protecting the skin and eyes from exposure. Wearing the hard hat with the brim turned to the back renders this feature useless.
Employers are required to provide adequate safety equipment to their employees. It is their responsibility to make sure workers use PPE like hard hats when they are required under OSHA standards. Worker’s compensation benefits are available to employees who suffer head injuries at work regardless of whether they were wearing a hard hat at the time of their accident.