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Hard Hats in the Workplace

NewsID:211    Datetime:2011-01-14


Safety in the workplace means not just having the right kind of equipment but also making sure that the equipment is at its optimum level. There are dozens of protective equipments in construction. A lot of them are issued for individual use to ensure safety. Among these utilities are protective goggles, ear plugs, heavy duty work boots, and the ever important hard hat.

If you go to a construction site, you will see the workers wearing mostly yellow hard hats. As a matter of fact, this hat has become the symbol of engineering and construction. This only shows its importance in the construction industry. Have you ever wondered what this hat really does? Is it really true that it gives ample protection for the person wearing it?

Hard hats are well known for durability. They do not wear down that easily. However, do these hats really protect the heads of the construction workers?

There are many misconceptions among workers that wearing hard hats does not make a lot of difference in the workplace because there are still many accidents happening even with it on. However, it has become a standard in the industry for the workers to have hard hats, because it really does lend additional protection from falling debris, if the small ones.

One of the guidelines imposed in a construction site is to wear a hard hat. It is also important that the workers check the manufacturing date of their hats, because although it is very durable, the hat tend to be more crisp and weak as years go by. The hat has to be replaced every five years no matter how the hat looks like. It is the responsibility of the worker to check with the supervisors whether the hat is still within the expiration period.

If you look inside the hat, you will see a suspension that fits the head of the person wearing it. The material used for this is softer and easier to break than the outer shell, that’s why it has to be replaced more often. Most hard hat manufacturers provide extra suspensions, or they are replaced a year before the expiration period.

It is also recommended to clean the hat regularly, which helps in recognizing cracks and damages on the hat. The shells should be routinely checked for cracks, dents, gouges and any impact damage which include abrasions, penetration or signs of tear that could reduce the degree of protection provided by the hat when it was first used. You should replace the hat right away if you see such damage to the hat.

Most manufacturers of hard hats cover or coat the outer shell with a protective layer to resist the rigors of weather. However, if used in extreme conditions, the hat’s expiration speeds up. This is mostly the case when used in workplaces with high temperatures and hazardous chemicals. Typically, the life span of the hat is shortened by 2 years when put under these conditions.

Hard hats are vital for the safety of a worker in a construction site. However, it is also important to remember that the hat alone could not provide sufficient protection in the workplace. The worker must be extra careful and should keep himself safe all the time.

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