Head First! The Importance of Workplace Safety Gear

Always recognize the importance of head protection! The head is especially susceptible to injury, and without adequate protection, the consequences can be fatal or lead to severe complications.  In many cases, injuries or even workplace fatalities can be prevented with proper personal protective equipment (PPE). So, today, let’s discuss why it is essential for workers to put their head first. 


In the workplace, head protectional is not only a critical component of occupational safety, but also generally mandatory in industries where there is a risk of head injuries. 


“According to the Northern Brain Injury Association (NBIA), around 10 per cent of the millions of workplace

injuries are brain injuries – and 95 per cent of these injuries are preventable.” -Canadian Occupational Safety 


The importance of head protection 

Head injuries can occur because of a variety of reasons. Let’s delve into why it is key to keep your brain safe: 


Head injuries 

A Traumatic Brain Injury (TBI) can occur from multiple workplace incidents including falling objects, collisions, or accidents. Hard hats provide a protective barrier, which can help reduce the risk of skull fractures or traumatic brain injuries. 


“A common occupational injury, TBI occurring at work is referred to as work-related traumatic brain injury (WR TBI) and accounts for between 20% and 25% of work-related trauma [3]. More severe TBIs can impact a worker’s ability to return to their preinjury job and be expensive for both workers and employers in long-term rehabilitation and disability costs.” -Centers For Disease Control and Prevention 



Depending on occupational regulations and standards, the use of head protection is required in specific industries. It is imperative for employers to provide and enforce the use of proper head protection to ensure staff are following the safety guidelines outlined by the business or legislated requirements. 


Fall protection 

When working in industries that involve heights, like construction for example, proper head protection is vital in preventing injuries sustained by falls. It is also recommenced that you add an adjustable fastener for under your chin if there is a risk of your headgear falling off when you move or fall. 


Protection from falling objects 

In industries where there is a high risk of objects falling from heights, a hard hat can be the difference between life or death. Your head gear can significantly reduce the impact of falling objects, which can cause serious, or fatal injury.  The Government of Canada states “The impact of an object and violent blows to the head can cause contusions and lacerations to the scalp and can sometimes cause a concussion or skull fracture.” Therefore, you want to ensure you take the appropriate measures to protect yourself from sustaining a significant injury in the workplace. 


Electrical safety 

For individuals involved in electrical work, head protection can include helmets that are constructed of non-conductive materials, which helps protect against electrical shock. These helmets can help prevent electrical injuries and fatalities in workplaces with live wires. Often an overlooked injury, electrical safety should be seriously considered in the workplace; burns, electrical shocks and electrocution are all caused by coming into contact with active conductors or electrical loads. 


When head protection is required, a complete safety protection program including fit testing, training, maintenance, and inspection as well as choosing the appropriate headwear for the job should be referred to, implemented, and enforced. 


Head protection is essential! Ensure your workers are kept safe from injury or fatalities by promoting a culture of safety and mitigating potential hazards in the workplace.  


Contact a Goal Zero representative today if you have questions or would like to speak more about safety and compliance. 


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