101: Safety Helmets

Posted By Stephanie Hancox on 2017-11-10 09:21

With 600,000 work-place injuries over the course of                                                                                                  2016/17 in Britain alone, can you afford to take the chance of not knowing your PPE?

In 1989, the development of  " The Construction Regulations " ensured that in areas where the possibility of head injury is acknowledged, employees were provided with adequate protection in the form of safety helmets after every measure as taken place to reduce this risk. The construction regulation was evolved in 1992 to become the "Personal Protective Equipment at work regulations" which further developed into the 2002 " Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 2002. Although injuries sustained from falling debris and/or objects still make up for a percentage of the 600,000 work place accidents, since the introduction of these regulations in 2002; Britain has seen on average, a 3.9% year on year decrease. 


Hard Hat History

The first "hard hat" was designed to protect those such as game keepers from simple things such as branches whilst riding on horseback; but it wasn't until 1919 when hard hats were produced for the industrial environment, inspired by the ones worn by individuals in WW1 coined as the "doughboy helmet". The San-Francisco based Bullard Company used materials such as: Steamed Canvas, glue and black paint to produce the "hard-boiled hat"

In 1983, the first American hard-hat designated area was the San Francisco Golden Gate Bridge construction site. Safety helmets then evolved from being constructed with steamed canvas to more preferred aluminum due to the increase protection offered. Further evolution meant that hard-helmets were being manufactured in the 1950'5/60's with Thermoplastics. TODAY though. hard hats are most commonly manufactured from high-density Polyethylene. 

Changes in the colour-coding...

" Highways England will switch its construction and maintenance contractors over to a new industry           recognised colour-coded hard hat scheme from the start of 2017.
 Four colours of hard hat will reflect workers roles and level of responsibility on site in a bid to make                         sites safer.
 The new standard, which will see operatives wearing white hard hats and supervisors black, was launched             by industry trade body BuildUK four months ago.
 It also ends the reign of green and yellow hard hats on the country’s highways.                                                     

Highways England is adopting the scheme as part of its ‘Raising the bar’ health and safety initiative to          identify best practice, raise standards and improve supply chain engagement.
 A spokesman for Highways England said that the system would foster pride in the wearing of a specific              hat colour as a badge of responsibility.
It would also reduce costs as companies will no longer have to buy different coloured helmets for different        jobs.
On small sites where  a colour standard may be impractical Highways England is advising using a default     colour of white as is general current practice." 


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References:                                                                                                                                                                http://www.rsta-uk.org/highways-workers-move-to-new-coloured-hard-hat-regime/                                               https://www.thenbs.com/knowledge/construction-hard-hats