Construction sites without the correct protection can potentially be very dangerous places, especially when it comes to head injuries. This is why Headway, the brain injury association and leading safety manufacturer Centurion Safety Products, are working together to raise awareness of using and maintaining hard hats while on site.

Brain injury is more common than you think, and its impact can be life-changing for both the individual hurt but also their wider family. Ensuring your head protection is worn and cared for correctly is key to remaining safe.

 A Brief History of Head Protection

In 1882 the Patented Pulp Manufacturing Company produced the first-ever mass-produced hard hat to protect workers. The British company, who later became Centurion Safety Products, manufactured a helmet from pulp which was mixed with lime and fed to formers. The formed hat was left to dry and then lacquered giving a smooth if slightly textured finish and a steel plate was riveted to the inside of the helmet to give further protection. These although pioneering were slightly uncomfortable due to the lack of a cradle inside the helmet.

The cradle was invented much later by an American in 1919 but by then companies had started to look at mandatory hard hat-wearing on construction sites and shipyards. The 2 most famous of these were the Hoover Dam and Golden Gate Bridge construction whilst six companies mandated helmet wearing at the Hoover Dam, every worker on the Golden Gate Bridge were instructed to wear a hard hat. Hard hat-wearing became much more widespread with aluminium versions in the 1930’s to the first thermoplastic injection moulded helmet in 1952 but up until the early 1950’s no-one really knew if a helmet would protect them as none were safety tested against a standard.

Did you know that 20% of all injuries whether fatal and non-fatal in the UK since 2013 are head related. Of all non-fatal injuries reported under Reporting of Injuries, Diseases and Dangerous Occurrences Regulations for 2018-19, 15% are head related.

Head protection accounts for only 3% of PPE purchases but is responsible for over 15% of incidents.

On average people spend £25-£30 on a pair of safety boots, but only £5-£8 on their safety helmet.

For 140 years Centurion have believed in protecting people not only physically through PPE but also protecting their mental health and wellbeing. They believe that having the correct, most comfortable PPE whilst giving high levels of protection is also key to a person’s wellbeing, helping them feel valued and protected by their employer.

As we all move through these uncertain times together it’s worth taking time to reflect on how much we valued our PPE this time last year, to now. Sometimes we take these things for granted, forgetting that they are protecting us every day, sending us home safely to our loved ones.

Centurion’s hard hat awareness week will take place from 21st-27th of September 2020

Hard Hat Awareness Week

As a UK first initiative, the idea is to bring together all wearers across all industries to understand how a head injury can cause a subsequent brain injury and to understand how to wear and care for your safety helmet or hard hat.

We would like everyone to support Headway who in turn support others with life-changing injuries. During the week which will be covered by Fix Radio there will be an outside broadcast from a construction site highlighting head injuries and wear and care issues.

Centurion’s key partners will also be observing the hard hat awareness week by conducting an audit or survey of their current safety helmets or hard hats and all other companies are encouraged to join in. Centurion will also be accepting donations through a text service to support Headway the brain injury association and those who do will be entered into a prize draw for a chance to win the first prize of £1000 in Milwaukee power tools.

Thanks to Amey utilities, Amey transport and infrastructure, HSE Network, Safer Highways and SCS Railways (Skanska, Costain and Strabag) who have so far pledged to take part.   

Amongst all that is happening in the world let us get together and audit our hard hats, making sure that they are protecting our lives as they should be.

#hardhatawareness #centurion #PPE #safety #headway #headprotection  

Disclaimer: The information provided through Greenham Pulse is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Greenham Pulse is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.