Wearing the appropriate head protection is not only necessary it is mandatory for many jobs. You are required to wear head protection at work if objects could fall from above hitting your head, if you are in danger of bumping your head on a fixed object such as exposed pipes or roofing beams, or if you are at risk of accidental head contact with an electrical hazard.
It is important that all employers perform proper hazard assessments in order to determine if their workers are at risk and if head protection is required.
Choosing The Right Head Protection
In general protective helmets should be able to absorb the shock of a blow, resist penetration, be resistant to water and burn slowly. But there are different types of safety helmet and wearing the wrong one can compromise your safety. Therefore it is important that the right head protection is chosen to match the hazards presented. If you are an employer you must proceed in regards to relevant safety standards regarding providing the proper protective head equipment.
Just like other types of protective equipment, safety helmets must always fit properly in order to offer appropriate protection. Safety helmets come in lots of different sizes and should include an adjustable headband strap. If your workers need high-visibility head protection then reflective tape is usually the best choice. Always check on the relevant safety standards before making any modifications to your worker’s headgear and check with the manufacturer if you are unsure.
Proper Maintenance of Head Protection
Regular maintenance of safety headgear plays an important role in keeping your head properly protected at work. It is important for workers to conduct inspections of their head protection daily, looking for signs of damage such as cracks or holes. If any damage is found, the head protection should not be used again and should be replaced immediately.
There are a few other ways that the efficiency of a safety helmet can also be compromised, these include coming into contact with some substances or being stored in direct sunlight.
Replace Head Protection When Needed
If your protective headwear has been dropped more than 8 to 10 feet or takes a forcible impact then it should be immediately replaced, even if there is no visible sign of damage. The affected headwear should be removed from use and replaced with new protective head protection.
As a general rule, most safety helmet manufacturers recommend replacing head protection every five years regardless of the appearance. If you work under extreme conditions, then your safety helmet should be replaced after two years.
Enhance Head Protection With PPE Accessories
Safety helmets are designed to protect from impact but don’t always do much to keep the wearer warm in colder months. Wearing a hard hat liner under your safety helmet can help to make up for this. If you work in a challenging environment you may want to add further PPE accessories such as safety goggles, ear defenders or a face shield. Make sure that the extra PPE doesn’t stop the head protection from preventing a head injury.
It is never worth taking any risks when it comes to keeping your head properly protected at work. Always invest in good quality head protection and follow workplace safety standards.