New Jersey construction workers are likely already familiar with the benefits of wearing a hard hat, but they may not realize that wearing one correctly is equally important. Only a hard hat that fits securely can offer adequate protection for carpenters, construction workers, plumbers, mechanics and other professionals in hazardous jobs. OSHA guidelines state that construction workers must wear hats made of thermoplastic resin that is lightweight, malleable and does not conduct electricity.
While all hard hats are designed for protection, some hats are made with different performance criteria for specific job hazards. In 2009, OSHA updated PPE standards to recognize new standards for hard hat safety in various fields. Type I designated hard hats reduce the impact of a blow on the top of the head, while Type II hats reduce the impact of a blow to the top or sides of the head.
New ANSI standards cover three non-mandatory tests of hard hat safety, including reverse donning, lower temperature and high visibility tests. Hats with a reverse donning arrow can be worn in either direction, while lower temperature hats meet safety standards at low temperatures. High visibility hats have passed tests for luminescence and chromaticity to increase visibility. ANSI code updates include revision to the Accessories and Replacement Components section, clarifying that manufacturers have the responsibility to prove that their components do not lead to hat failure.
Utilizing up-to-date safety equipment is essential when it comes to reducing the risk of work injuries in certain occupations, but accidents will continue to happen. Workers who have incurred on-the-job injuries may be entitled to file a claim for workers’ compensation benefits. In some cases, if the injury was caused by the negligence of a non-employer third party, it may be possible to also pursue a personal injury lawsuit. An attorney can provide an injured worker with guidance on these matters.