Head protection is a vital piece of PPE!
Hard hats are the main piece of head protection that protects us from potential brain damage or other head injuries that results from the impact of falling or flying objects. It also protects the head from electric shock. To provide maximum protection, head protection hard hats must be fitted correctly and worn according to manufacturer’s instructions and country standards.
Why run a Head Protection Toolbox Talk?
- Prevent unnecessary injury from head injuries by improving awareness and training
- Importance of wearing head protection
- Assist with understanding of legislative aspects and standards
- Fewer injuries mean higher productivity
- Am I working with any equipment or tools at raised levels above other people?
- Am I handling objects above head level where there is a risk of the object falling?
- Am I working in an area with the chance of falling objects?
- Am I working on a construction site with scaffolding near me or cranes operating?
When should head protection be worn?
- In areas where there is potential of being hit or struck by falling, fixed or moving objects e.g. scaffolding or crane operations
- Where there is potential to fall from height e.g. elevated work platforms
- If there is a potential of head contact with electrical hazards
- When exposed to UV, weather and extreme temperatures
How does it protect you?
- Constructed with an outer shell designed to deflect or absorb an initial impact, and suspension/harness inside which absorbs and spreads the impact, the Hard hats minimize the effects of a blow to the skull. Some hard hats have a chin-strap ensuring the helmet does not fall or blow off.
- There must be no interference between the suspension/ harness in the hard hat and the head, so it is recommended not to wear clothing items/ “hoodies” on the head when wearing a hard hat unless they are close-fitting/flat top beanies and do not obstruct the fit or stability of hard hat.
Care and Maintenance
- Store in clean dry area, away from direct sunlight
- Inspect your head protection at least weekly – check for cracks, frayed straps, dents, penetrations, and any other signs of damage. You may want to check with the manufacturer’s instructions for inspection.
- Replace immediately if notice any signs of damage or wear.
- Always remove and replace a hard hat if it sustains an impact, even if damage is not noticeable.
- Clean by scrubbing immersing in warm soapy water and rinsing in water.
- A simple test you can do is squeeze the sides of the hard hat together and listen and feel for signs of cracking or stress.
- Your hard hat should be replaced 3 years after first use or 5 years after the manufacture date. Some suspension components may need to be replaced at intervals no longer then 2 years.
- Wearing head protection is one of the easiest ways to protect your head from injury
- Inspect your hard hat each time you wear it, or at least weekly
- Do not wear the head protection over thick beanies or over “hoodies”
- Always replace hard hat if it sustains an impact, even if damage isn’t noticeable