What Does Hard Hat Safety Really Protect?

SIMCO Water Well and Geothermal Drilling Education Series:

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Hard hat safety is essential – and legally required – on any drilling site. For any business, the men and women on the job and in the field are the cogs that keep that business moving. That’s why it is so important to understand how and why OHSA-regulated personal protective equipment like the hard hat is necessary to the life of your workers and your company.

State and national regulations from the Occupational Safety and Health Administration are clear and simple: Any employee working in an area where there is the potential for an injury to the head from falling or flying objects, head impact with stationary objects,  or the possibility of injury from electrical shock and burns is required to wear an OSHA-approved hard hat. There are different categories of head protection, created for different scenarios and industries.

Class A – provides limited voltage protection up to 2200 volts as well as impact and penetration resistance

Class B –  highest level of voltage protection available up to 20,000 volts and protect against penetration and impact from flying and falling objects

Class C – offers no voltage protection but provides impact protection

It only takes a moment to sustain a life-altering head injury. Walking back to the office or the truck for a helmet when you’re only walking fifty feet across the job site may seem like an inconvenience, but that extra three minutes is certainly worth it. Hard hat safety protects so much more than just your head. Traumatic brain injuries can happen in the blink of an eye, in different ways. What can a TBI actually damage?

  • If the injury is to the top back of the head, it could damage one or both of your parietal lobes. The left parietal lobe controls the ability to write and speak, while the right parietal lobe assists with self-care task like washing and dressing yourself.
  • A blow to the front of the skull such as the forehead damages the frontal lobe. This part of the brain holds the personality and emotions of a person, and if damaged can cause loss of movement, problem solving, memory, judgement and impulse control.
  • The temporal lobes are on the sides of the head, just above the ears. An injury here could affect short-term memory, attention span and increased aggression.

Workers may think it’s okay to remove their helmets because it’s too hot out, or because they’ve never been hurt before. But it only takes one careless moment to be struck by a falling or flying object, which could result in a traumatic brain injury or even death. Hard hat safety laws and regulations are essential to a productive and secure job site.

Contact your SIMCO representative at 800-338-9925 to find out more about our new and used equipment available, or contact us by email.