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Author Topic: Wearing hard-hats?  (Read 1721 times)

Alec Spence

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #20 on: April 05, 2021, 06:32:58 am »

I know what I'm about to say is not sound related but I will tell you a short story. I worked in a commercial bakery for many years and there you are required to wear bump caps. I at one time got a hard hat so that I could get the ear muffs that connected to the hard hat. a bit heavier, but more comfortable and I didn't have them threatening to fall off like the others. I had a bad accident from a 4 foot platform and landed hard on concrete. I got off real easy, but I still believe to this day that if I had a bump cap on I would not be around.

As with all things safety-related, it's really important to understand what PPE is and isn't designed to do.

A bump cap is designed to protect the wearer from minor bumps and lacerations - they're not designed to protect the wearer from falling objects.

A hard hat is designed to protect the wearer from high impact debris - typically falling objects.

Neither are designed to protect the wearer from a fall.

If you had a fall from a platform then it's likely that either the platform was poorly designed with inadequate safety barriers, an adequate risk assessment had not been performed and acted against, or you had insufficient training or were negligent in your activities - or a combination of these.  If all those had been done correctly, you shouldn't have had to rely on "luck" to protect you from injuries.

Sorry if that's all too direct, but safety is critical and needs to be done correctly.
« Last Edit: April 05, 2021, 01:09:39 pm by Alec Spence »
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Nathan Vanderslice

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #21 on: April 05, 2021, 05:06:45 pm »

As with all things safety-related, it's really important to understand what PPE is and isn't designed to do.

A bump cap is designed to protect the wearer from minor bumps and lacerations - they're not designed to protect the wearer from falling objects.

A hard hat is designed to protect the wearer from high impact debris - typically falling objects.

Neither are designed to protect the wearer from a fall.

If you had a fall from a platform then it's likely that either the platform was poorly designed with inadequate safety barriers, an adequate risk assessment had not been performed and acted against, or you had insufficient training or were negligent in your activities - or a combination of these.  If all those had been done correctly, you shouldn't have had to rely on "luck" to protect you from injuries.

Sorry if that's all too direct, but safety is critical and needs to be done correctly.
Alec, not too direct at all. :)  I wasn't required to use a hard hat, only a bump cap, but the choice was to wear them with the clip in ear muffs. The accident was probably my own fault as I was rushing. I was trying to free a product tray that had jammed in the conveyor. I was thinking more of the emphasis of speed to clear the jam than safety. The conveyor was quite high and the ladder I chose was too short. I could just reach the tray above me, but lost my balance and went backwards. It's possible that the hard had had nothing to do with a worse outcome, but there was a small piece of it where the flare is at the bottom (back) and a crack in the back of hard hat. I suspect that the fact that the muffs kept my hard hat on my head  until I hit the floor was just enough protection to make that difference. I just don't know.
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Russell Ault

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #22 on: April 06, 2021, 02:24:46 am »

{...} The accident was probably my own fault as I was rushing. {...}

That's letting your employer off incredibly easily. A few things to consider:
  • Did your employer have a procedure for clearing jams from that piece of equipment that ensured worker safety?
  • Did your employer have a fall prevention plan for that environment (I'm not sure about your jurisdiction, but in Alberta fall protection regulations kick for permanent work areas like platforms that are 4' or taller)?
  • Had your employer done anything to encourage you to consider your personal safety above productivity (guessing not!)?

The cause of workplace accidents can almost never be placed squarely on one party's shoulders, and blaming the worker (while often the easiest approach) almost never results in workplace safety improvements.

Humans are imperfect, and Murphy's Law is real. It's systems, not individuals, that make the biggest difference between a worker going home and going to the morgue.

-Russ
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Ike Zimbel

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #23 on: April 06, 2021, 10:58:44 am »

That's letting your employer off incredibly easily. A few things to consider:
  • Did your employer have a procedure for clearing jams from that piece of equipment that ensured worker safety?
  • Did your employer have a fall prevention plan for that environment (I'm not sure about your jurisdiction, but in Alberta fall protection regulations kick for permanent work areas like platforms that are 4' or taller)?
  • Had your employer done anything to encourage you to consider your personal safety above productivity (guessing not!)?

The cause of workplace accidents can almost never be placed squarely on one party's shoulders, and blaming the worker (while often the easiest approach) almost never results in workplace safety improvements.

Humans are imperfect, and Murphy's Law is real. It's systems, not individuals, that make the biggest difference between a worker going home and going to the morgue.

-Russ
+1000! Well said!
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~Ike Zimbel~
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Bob Faulkner

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #24 on: April 06, 2021, 07:44:39 pm »

Thanks everyone for the feedback and input.  Picked up 5 x Type 2 (Class E) hard hats. 

..hoping the industry opens up soon.

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Nathan Vanderslice

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #25 on: April 06, 2021, 11:15:25 pm »

That's letting your employer off incredibly easily. A few things to consider:
  • Did your employer have a procedure for clearing jams from that piece of equipment that ensured worker safety?
  • Did your employer have a fall prevention plan for that environment (I'm not sure about your jurisdiction, but in Alberta fall protection regulations kick for permanent work areas like platforms that are 4' or taller)?
  • Had your employer done anything to encourage you to consider your personal safety above productivity (guessing not!)?

The cause of workplace accidents can almost never be placed squarely on one party's shoulders, and blaming the worker (while often the easiest approach) almost never results in workplace safety improvements.

Humans are imperfect, and Murphy's Law is real. It's systems, not individuals, that make the biggest difference between a worker going home and going to the morgue.

-Russ
You would not believe the things I heard when I got back. LOL To mention one, was that shortly after the accident happened, they had the maintenance crew take it and destroy it to cover up evidence. I suspect that was just to make sure that it was not used again. The other was the number of people telling me that I should sue the company.  From what I remember these had 4 wheels and in the front 2 feet with a latching mechanism that had a releasing  bar that went across the bottom step so that when you step on the bottom step the casters are released and it drops on the 2 feet. To be honest I didn't know what really happened other than me going backwards. They didn't say anything to me about fault,  and I didn't get into any hassles at any level of management. They were pretty good about the whole thing. No rushing to get back and taking it real easy at work for quite some time. I'm not letting them off the hook. Yes there were some things that were not in place at the time. It wasn't until much later that they started requiring safety harnesses when using the lifts. I didn't really pay attention to what went on on the administrative level so far as the accident. And some of what I commented on is from a retrospective point.
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Stephen Swaffer

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2021, 01:01:28 pm »


Humans are imperfect, and Murphy's Law is real. It's systems, not individuals, that make the biggest difference between a worker going home and going to the morgue.


Perhaps-don't get me wrong I am 100% in favor of having the right systems.  I spend a lot of time and energy trying to make things safe-but probably just as much time and effort trying to make safe systems hard for employees to defeat  :( When i teach lockout/tagout, I tell employees that the most common reason for skipping it is "it takes too much time"-but you are paid by the hour and you are the one that will be hurt by failing to follow the system, so why take the shortcut?

I have worked in two different, safety conscious facilities.  In both places I have noticed that 90% of the injuries happen to about 10% of the people involved..

As an employer, I feel like my responsibility to make the workplace as safe as possible so that everyone goes home in one piece at the end of the day.  As an employee, I assume the workplace is ready to bite me and I am responsible for my own safety.  I am not sure either mindset is more important.
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Steve Swaffer

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Re: Wearing hard-hats?
« Reply #26 on: April 07, 2021, 01:01:28 pm »


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