Between October 2011 and September 2012, failure to wear adequate head protection was the construction industry’s sixth most cited standard nationally, averaging $1,467 per citation.
The human cost of this oversight can amount to a great deal more, placing workers at risk of a range of injuries that include brain damage and death. To ensure that workers are sufficiently protected, OSHA requires that they wear head protection when there is a risk of the head:
• being struck by falling objects
• striking stationary objects, such as exposed pipes
• coming into contact with electrical hazards
Ensure that the hard hats used in your business protect their wearers adequately against the hazards at your workplace. When possible, opt to use Class B hard hats, which protect their wearers both against electrical hazards and physical impacts better than Class A and C hard hats. Regardless of which kind of head protection you use, remember to keep it in good condition and routinely inspect it for damage.
Replace head protection that is over 4 years past its date of manufacture, as well as worn suspension systems. Most manufacturers recommend replacing the suspension system once a year.