Are you a business owner or contractor with employees to keep safe? If so, you need to be aware of head protection requirements set by OSHA (Occupational Safety and Health Administration). As an employer it is your responsibility to protect your employees from potential head injuries that can leave them impaired for life or end up being a fatality. How do you prevent these unfortunate incidents from occurring? You provide all of your employees hard hats to protect them from impact and penetration hazards as well as electrical shock and burn hazards. Before you run out to purchase hard hats make sure to make an assessment of the work environment.
Does your business employ one or more of the following: construction workers, carpenters, electricians, linemen, plumbers and pipefitters, timber and log cutters, welders, etc.? Is your business one that employees are working in environments where there is a danger of objects falling from above, working below others who are using tools, or working under a conveyor belt? If you answered one or both questions with a yes then you need to assess whether or not your employees come into contact with any of the following hazards:
* Objects may fall from above and strike them on the head
* Potential to bump their heads against fixed objects, such as exposed pipes or beams
* There is a possibility of accidental head contact with electrical hazards
Do your employees encounter any of the prior mentioned hazards? If you answered yes to this question, now is the time to explain what hard hats should do. They should:
* Resist penetration by objects.
* Absorb the shock of a blow.
* Be water resistant and slow burning.
* Have clear instruction explaining proper adjustment and replacement of the suspension and headband.
All head protection gear must have a hard outer shell and a suspension system that elevates the shell between 1″ – 1 ¼” above the employee’s head. This design provides shock absorption in the event of an impact and ventilation during normal wear. In addition to proper design; all hard hats must comply with ANSI Standard Z89.1-2003.
I can tell you that complying with OSHA will prevent your business from being fined and significant reduction in production losses. It is definitely worth it to follow the law and protect your employees. Your business operates smoothly and your employees are safe – it is the perfect work environment. Do you have additional information to add? If so, please, leave a comment below – comments are always welcome.
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