5 Common Workplace Accidents and How To Prevent Them!
What Head Protection Do I Need For My Industry?
PPE is confusing, we know.
With these few tips on head protection we hope to make it a little easier for you.
The construction industry has the most fatal injuries every year.
Workers are at risk from a multitude of hazards, one of the biggest ones are falling objects.
Just like all products, look for quality and reputable brands and manufactures when purchasing.
Often, the big brand names you’re familiar with are well known for a reason and produce quality helmets that offer superior protection.
WorkStuff UK endorses esteemed brands such as: Portwest, JSP, ProForce, 3M and Centurion.
Make Sure It Fits
Ill fitted or loose hard hat helmets are up to 80% less efficient at stopping injury to your head when a accident occurs!
Whether that’s because you’ve been provided the wrong size or you cannot be bothered to fasten your chin strap because you’re only walking across the construction site.
Accidents can happen in a instant and can be life changing, make sure it fits!
Check The Ratings
Hard hats are categorised into two safety ratings: Type 1 and Type 2.
Type 1 will only protect you if an object falls directly on top of your head, whereas Type 2 will not just protect the top but the back and sides too.
If your helmet shows sign or wear or cracking, replace it! Don’t risk wearing a damaged and therefore far less protective helmet!
More advanced now, in Welding you’ll need helmet, browguard, head shield, and/or a welding screen to protect from UV radiation, infrared, molten metal and impact.
Make sure your helmet meets ANSI Z87.1 – 2003, this will mean it has passed thorough testing of heavy impact, providing 100% UV and Infrared filtering and meeting dark to light switching speeds.
Any welder will know the struggles of having a sore neck after a days work, this can be down to whether your wearing a Passive or Auto-Darkening mask or simply down to the weight of the helmet.
When trying on your mask in the shop, think to yourself whether you’d feel comfortable wearing it for several hours at a time throughout your working day.
A lightweight and comfortable welding mask will drastically reduce the amount of stress to your neck and head over time, this is very important to consider as large amount of stress to the neck can risk permanent and severe damage in later life.
Passive or Auto-Darkening
A Passive welding mask is worn in the up position when you’re not welding due to the dark lens making it difficult to position your welding gun, when beginning to weld, with a flick on the head the mask will fall down covering the face and shielding the eyes.
An Auto-Darkening welding mask has a ‘Auto-Darkening lens’, when inactive the lens will not be dark so you can position more tricky welds, when engaging in a weld it the lens will automatically sense the extreme light and darken the lens in a fraction of a second. This saves having to keep lifting and putting down the helmet that you’ll have to do with a Passive mask.
Of course, the more high tec Auto-Darkening mask is more expensive, but just like anything you get what you pay for.
Essentially it comes down to whether your willing to spend more money to get a better welding experience.
Many manufactures offer different sizes of the viewport on Welding masks, of course generally the bigger the better as the more you can see the easier it’ll make your job.
Your choice of size will impact the price of the mask, if you’re on a budget you may want to stick with the 6 square inch but if you’re willing to spend out the extra dosh for a better product then some more industrial welding masks can range up to a 9 square inch view-port.
This is all down to personal preference and your budget
When using a chainsaw it’s important to equip yourself properly with the correct safety gear.
It’s not just the powerful chain that offers a threat of injury, but flying wood chips too, not to mention extremely loud noises and falling trees and branches.
Chainsaw safety helmets impact protection like all do but also come with visors and ear muffs to protect the eyes, face and ears.
No one knows a loud working environment like a forester, with Chainsaws being used on a daily basis as well as heavy machinery like Chippers, ear protection should be first point of call.
A popular choice is helmet mounted ear defenders, this of course saves you the trouble of carrying a separate pair of ear defenders around with you.
Anything over 25dB of attenuation will be ideal for standard usage, if you’re using a louder than usual chainsaw or are planning to be around lots of heavy machinery on a regular basis then you might want to look at 32dB of attenuation and higher.
When working long hours through the day, especially when constantly wearing something on your head and wielding heavy tools you’re bound to sweat.
Something you want to look out for is the ventilation system on your helmet, most nowadays come with slits on the sides to offer airflow onto your head and keep you cool, this is something you’ll regret not having during them hot summer months.
It’s fairly simple when coming to a face shield for forestry, you’ll struggle to find a forestry helmet without a face shield or visor not already mounted.
It’s an essential bit of kit when cutting wood, not only protecting your face and eyes from wood trimmings potentially blinding you but in case of a serious incident such as falling on your tools or chainsaw, it would offer a lot of protection, potentially saving you from serious damage.
Most face shields are steel mesh which offers you more protection but could be heavier and more difficult to see through you can also find clear perspex versions, which are easier to see through but would offer far less in sense of protection during a serious accident