All workers on construction sites are required to wear hard hats. Other work sites where hard hats are mandatory include manufacturing, welding and the oil and gas industries. This is necessary to comply with the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992. The hard hats must be maintained and not be damaged (the shell or suspension must be capable of protecting the worker’s head). Hard hats should be purchased from a reputable known supplier; there are fake hard hats on the market. The hard hat must fit the person properly. To be safe, the hard hat must be worn as snugly as possible. Site rules should make it mandatory for workers and site visitors to wear hard hats. One should not wait until they are on site to wear a hard hat; they should be worn before site entry. Many accidents can occur within the first few seconds of site entry. Self -employed contractors should wear their own hard hats. If one is required to wear hearing protectors, the hard hat should not get in the way and be able to be correctly worn as well.
Unexpected injuries to the head and body can occur because of objects falling or being thrown from a height, protruding unprotected end of a scaffold poles, material falling off a load being lifted by a crane, projections not being covered or capped and insufficient headroom on a scaffold. These are just a few examples of how a head injury can occur, anything could happen on a building/construction site!
The hazards are many in this type of work environment. Workers can trip or slip because the access to or from the work place or the workplace itself is not safe. Trips are the most common cause of injuries on construction sites. Unsafe platforms or the absence of guard rails can pose a risk to workers. There is a risk of workers being knocked down by reversing and moving vehicles. Materials may roll off or be kicked off platforms. There is a risk of structures or a building collapsing on a building site because of weak supports. Structures can also unexpectedly collapse during demolition. Scaffolding may collapse because they have been overloaded or because ties have been removed too quickly. Wearing a hard hat in these situations may prevent or lessen injury. Hard hats may also protect from electric shock or burn hazards.
The result of not wearing a hard hat can be tragic. The suddenness of a head injury causes the brain to knock against the skull and possibly cause blood vessels to break.Head injuries can include concussions, paralysis and memory loss. Speech, sight and the other senses may also be affected. Paralysis may result in the worker being wheel chair bound.