The importance of head protection when working at height
On almost all construction sites and particularly when working at height, there are risks of head injury and, for the majority of cases, the health and safety executive (HSE) states that head protection should be worn.
The risks of head injury when working at height can be reduced through the use of safety equipment, such as protection for scaffolding ends, Employers, site managers and building owners must ensure that all workers are provided with, and wear, suitable head protection.
The head is one of the most vulnerable parts of the body, yet it seems helmets can often be overlooked, especially when working at height. It’s worth bearing in mind when working at height that although a lanyard may prevent or protect you in the event of a fall, it would not necessarily protect you from damage to the head.
Fatalities and life-changing injuries are not uncommon when working at height and during an uncontrollable fall, a helmet can protect a worker from sustaining a head injury. When wearing a helmet this can prevent or lessen an injury to a worker by acting as a shock absorber and reducing the impact to the head.
So, if you’re wearing a hard hat when you’re working at height then you’re protected, right?
The HSE provides specific guidelines in relation to the suitability of a helmet for work at height.
According to the HSE, helmets that are worn whilst working at height should:
- Be a suitable design for the type of work being undertaken. (a general construction hard hat is not suitable for work at height)
- Have a chin strap provided.
- Be in good condition. (if the head protection appears to be damaged replace immediately)
- Ensure that the helmet properly fits the individual and is worn at the correct times.
- Not prevent the wearing of other required PPE such as hearing protectors, when required and only be obtained from a reputable supplier- don’t take the risk of purchasing from cheaper but less reliable source.
At Eurosafe Solutions, we offer a range of Petzl helmets that comply with HSE guidelines. The helmets obtain a strong chin strap and are extremely light weight, making them ideally suited to those working at height. The helmet protects users against electrical hazards, molten metal splash and falling objects. These are built with a CenterFit adjustment system to ensure the helmet remains centred on the head.