The Importance of Wearing Hard Hats
Hard hats save lives. It really is that simple, but of course, we’re not going to leave it there. In this article, we’re going to be taking a look at some recent workplace fatality statistics and how they relate to hard hats, as well as discussing the laws surrounding proper hard hat usage.
Workplace fatalities – the facts
Between 2019 and 2020, 111 people were killed as a result of accidents in the workplace. Over 75% of these fatalities occurred in the following four industries:
- Construction: 40 deaths
- Agriculture and forestry: 20 deaths
- Manufacturing: 15 deaths
- Transport and storage: 11 deaths
These deaths occurred as a result of the following sorts of accidents:
- Falls from height: 29 deaths
- Struck by a moving vehicle: 20 deaths
- Struck by a moving object: 18 deaths
- Trapped by something falling/collapsing: 15 deaths
- Contact with moving machinery: 11 deaths
As you can see, a large majority of workplace fatalities that occurred last year were caused by physical blows. And while we can’t know for sure whether those unfortunate people were wearing hard hats, we can say for sure that, in all of those situations, wearing a hard hat would drastically increase your chances of survival.
Hard hats and the law
Hard hats are covered comprehensively by the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992. If you want you and your employees to stay compliant, here’s what you need to do:
- If the hard hats that you have chosen have an adjustable strap, this must be used to ensure the hat is properly secure.
- The inside of a hard hat must be cleaned and the sweatbands must be replaced regularly. This is to ensure that workers aren’t put off wearing one when they due to hygiene issues with the PPE.
- Hard hats must be inspected for damage regularly. This damage could be to the shell or the adjustable straps.
- Once a hard hat has taken any significant damage, it must be discarded immediately.
- If a hard hat has become very scratched or worn over time but has not been struck with any immense force, it must still be discarded. If you are unsure about the state of your hard hat, check with the manufacturer.
- Hard hats must be worn correctly, this means ensuring that they fit properly and are on straight, not sloping off to one side. A hard hat that’s not on correctly simply won’t offer the necessary protection.
- A hard hat must not be customised with stickers or paint, nor should they be modified structurally in any way. For example, you shouldn’t drill any extra ventilation holes in them, as this could affect their ability to absorb an impact.
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