Toolbox Meeting 7 -- HARD HAT OR HARD HEAD

A good clout on the head by a piece of falling material is one way to convince a holdout that they need a hard hat. But that's a bit drastic, and in some cases, permanently damaging. In order for a hard hat to provide adequate protection, it must be worn correctly with brim forward. The following are arguments workers usually give when caught without a hard hat on the job.

"It's too heavy." Hard hats are a few ounces heavier than a cloth cap, but the extra protection is worth the extra weight, and a hard hat is less than one-third as heavy as an Army helmet.

"It's too hot." Actual measurements have shown that the temperature under a hard hat is 5 to 10 cooler than outside.

"It gives me a headache." A thump on the head from something which has fallen two floors will give you a worse one. In addition, there is no medical reason why a properly adjusted hard hat would cause a headache.

"It won't stay on." You're right - it won't. Not in a high wind, but a chin strap will solve the problem. Otherwise, you'll find that the hat stays put, no matter how much stooping or bending you have to do - if it's fitted correctly.

"It's noisy." That's your imagination. In fact, tests show that properly worn hard hats will shield your ears from noise.

There are no excuses good enough for not wearing a hard hat.

QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION:
1. What are the adjustments that can be made on our hats for proper fit and comfort?
2. Why is it important that hard hats be worn all the time by everyone on the jobsite?

For more information read Section 3 - Personal Protection Equipment - in the Elevator Industry Field Employees' Safety Handbook