Wearing head protection is of grave importance in a variety of industries, and especially in places where work at height is executed. Traditional hard hats, however, pose a great problem when working at height. While these hats may provide protection from falling objects, they can fall off in the event of a fall. An employee without a helmet who falls can hit their head against the structure of which they fall and sustain severe injuries.
Where there is a risk of injury to the head, workers should be protected by their employers. The first step would be to minimize the risk. Falling objects, for example, can be prevented by installing toe boards on scaffolds. Still, there will be situations where the hazards cannot be eliminated. In that case workers should wear a safety helmet to protect them.
Safety helmets should resist penetration by falling objects and absorb the shock of a blow. Most helmets are compatible with an array of additional accessories, such as safety glasses and hearing protection. These should not compromise the safety of any of the equipment.
As each person’s head is different the protective headwear should be adjustable to ensure a proper fit. After all the safety gear should not bind off a person’s head or wobble because it’s too big.
Safety check and maintenance
Before use make sure that the helmet has no previous damage. Look for cracks, dents or other signs of wear. Helmets with cracks, deformations and/or perforations should be taken out of service and be replaced. If a safety helmet has suffered an impact, replace it! Even if the helmet shows no visible signs of damage.
To ensure that safety helmets are not compromised keep them away from chemicals that can damage the plastic outer shell. This means it is not advised to use (most) stickers on a helmet. Also be mindful of storing helmets in direct sunlight, as exposure to ultraviolet radiation can also damage or deform the shell.