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Determining When a Hard Hat is Required


As an employer, you’re responsible for providing workers with the necessary personal protective equipment to do their job safely. Anything but optional, failing to provide pertinent gear — including hard hats — can be a matter of life and death.

Tragically, 5,190 workers were killed on the job in 2016, according to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). Unfortunately, there’s no way to create a worksite completely devoid of accident risks, but taking the proper precautions will significantly decrease the probability of an incident.

Head injuries can permanently impair or even kill workers. Wearing a hard hat is an easy way to protect them from harm, so find out when they should be required.

3 Times Hard Hats Must Be Worn

According to OSHA, employers must make hard hats mandatory if any of the following conditions are present:

  • Falling objects could hit them on the head.
  • Fixed objects are present that workers could hit their head on — i.e., exposed pipes.
  • Accidental head contact with electrical hazards could occur.

4 Rules for Hard Hats

For a hard hat to do its job, it must be worn properly. OSHA requires the bill to be facing forward, as this provides the most protection.

Since they serve as a protective barrier for the head, hard hats must be seriously tough. To comply with OSHA standards, they must be capable of the following:

  • Withstand penetration by objects.
  • Absorb the shock of a blow.
  • Resistant to water and slow burning.
  • Contain easy-to-understand instructions for proper adjustment and replacement of the suspension and headband.

There’s no hard and fast list for which occupations require helmets and which do not. Broadly speaking, the need is determined on a case-by-case basis, according to each individual worksite. However, OSHA provides several examples of professions where workers should be required to wear one. A few of these include construction workers, linemen, and welders.

Want to learn more about worker safety? Bookmark the MAC Incorporated blog to stay in the know on the latest updates and tips to keep your team healthy and productive. If you’re looking to hire workers who firmly believe safety comes first, contact us today find out how we can be of assistance!


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