The hard hat is the defining symbol of the construction industry and for good reason. While there are numerous safety tools and devices, few are as important as the hard hat. Hardhats are the leading preventer of Traumatic Brain Injuries, which are more common amongst construction workers than any other industry. A traumatic brain injury is a head injury that causes damage to the brain by an outside force, often causing long term complications or death. While proper use of hardhats can certainly aid in preventing such injuries, PPE is the least preferred method of hazard control. The best way to prevent head injury is to eliminate the hazards most likely to cause it. In construction, the top two causes of brain injury are falls and being struck by an object.
- Warning Line Systems
- Covering holes
- Securing of ladders
Falling object prevention:
- Toe boards
- Covered walkways/canopies at entrances
Training is also critical in the prevention and detection of TBIs. Workers often try to “walk it off” after being struck in the head, not realizing the potential danger. If you suffer from a head injury, report it to your supervisor immediately and seek medical attention.