Monday, December 22, 2014

Essential PPE: Hard Hats

Because there are a myriad of potential hazards in the rigging and demolition industry, wearing the proper protective equipment is imperative to protecting worker safety. Head injuries, which can prove fatal or cause permanent impairment, are particularly dangerous, so one of the most important pieces of PPE in an R. Baker & Son crew member’s arsenal is the hard hat.

In general, protective headgear should always be worn in situations in which there is risk of falling or moving objects, fixed objects such as pipes or beams on which one might strike their head, and/or risk of accidental contact with electrical hazards. For construction, rigging, and demolition workers, these hazards are always present and hard hats should be worn at all times. At minimum, hard hats should be resistant to penetration, capable of absorbing the shock of a blow, water and burn resistant, and should display clear instructions for use.

There are three industrial classes for hard hats. Class A headgear provides impact and penetration resistance and electrical protection up to 2,200 volts. Class B is designed to provide maximum protection against electrical shock, up to 20,000 volts, as well as impact and penetration protection. Class C offers lightweight impact protection and does not protect against electric shock. R. Baker & Son workers typically wear Class B hard hats.

Hard hats require regular maintenance and daily inspection to ensure they meet or exceed safety regulations and standards. Headgear that is perforated, cracked, or otherwise deformed should be discarded and replaced, well as those that show loss of surface gloss, chalking, or flaking, which can indicate excessive exposure to heat or chemicals. Suspension systems that appear damaged or worn must be promptly replaced. Always replace a hard hat that sustains an impact, even if damage is not visible.

R.Baker & Son, All Industrial Services
1 Globe Court
Red Bank, NJ 07701