21 - 27 September 2020
"It only takes a second"
Brian Clough - Football Manager
Why hard hats are life savers
The undeniable truth of this phrase will not be lost on any football player or fan. Two teams can compete over 90+ minutes with one eventually coming out victorious by the odd goal. But the time it takes from the moment the ball leaves the foot or head of the goal scorer to the ripple of the net is no more than a second. It can happen in the first minute or the last, or anywhere in between. Occasionally the moment comes in injury time, which is especially painful if your team is the one that has conceded.
Most of us don’t get to jog onto a football pitch to make a living (oh, if only!!). More than 2 million workers in the UK construction industry attend daily toolbox talks rather than team talks, and instead of shin pads put on their PPE (personal protective equipment). By far the most recognisable piece of their equipment is the hardhat.
Under current PPE regulations hardhats must be provided by all employers in the construction industry for use on building and construction sites. Self-employed workers need to supply their own. They protect the wearer in any number of hazardous situations: falls, trips and slips, things which get dropped from above (including tools), flying objects, ricochets, things you walk into; from heavy objects to sharp and fast moving objects, often they are unseen hazards which you are only aware of once they strike. It only takes a second.
Like some other protective equipment, hard hats could appear at times to be a unnecessary – especially if the job “will only take a minute”. But that’s plenty of time for something which only takes a second. Hard hats don’t prevent an impact, but they do reduce the effect. For some it will mean the difference between going home that night, or ever being able to go to work in the future. In the UK construction industry 95% of all fatal accidents in the last 5 years* were caused by falls, being trapped or struck. Wearing a hard hat probably saves a construction worker’s life every day.
One day it may just save your best friend’s life. Or yours.
*Source: RIDDOR, 2014/15-2018/19