Protecting employees from potential head injuries is a key element of any safety program. A head injury can impair an employee for life or can be fatal. Wearing a safety helmet or hard hat is one of the easiest ways to protect an employee's head from injury. Hard hats can protect employees from impact and penetration hazards as well as from electrical shock and burn hazards.
Employers must ensure that their employees wear head protection if any of the following apply:
- Objects might fall from above and strike them on the head;
- They might bump their heads against fixed objects, such as exposed pipes or beams; or
- There is a possibility of accidental head contact with electrical hazards.
Some examples of occupations in which employees should be required to wear head protection include construction workers, carpenters, electricians, linemen, plumbers and pipefitters, welders, among many others. Whenever there is a danger of objects falling from above, such as working below others who are using tools or working under a conveyor belt, head protection must be worn. Hard hats must be worn with the bill forward to protect employees properly.