Headway and Centurion are working together to raise awareness of using and maintaining hard hats while on construction sites
Construction sites without the correct protection can potentially be very dangerous places, especially when it comes to head injuries.
Headway, the brain injury association and safety manufacturer Centurion are working together to raise awareness of using and maintaining hard hats while on site.
The organisations have joined forces to create Hard Hat Awareness Week which runs from 21-27 September.
Hard Hat Awareness Week will see a series of activities designed to drive awareness of brain injury and encourage best practice around safety equipment.
The results of a survey conducted by Headway which explored the use of hard hats in the construction industry and understanding of concussion were published at the start of the awareness raising week.
Statistics revealed that among those who experienced a head injury at work:
- 52% did not report an incident to their manager
- Just 6% sought medical attention for their head injury.
More worryingly, 15% of 486 respondents stored their hard hat in an unsuitable way, such as in direct sunlight or extreme temperatures, whilst 58% painted, marked or applied decals or labels to their helmet which could cause a chemical attack and reduce its durability.
24% were unaware that exceeding the expiry date of a hard hat can reduce the level of protectivity and 28% did not know where to find their helmet’s expiry date or were unaware it even had one.
‘Always wear your hard hat’
Peter McCabe, chief executive of Headway, said: “Brain injury is more common than you think, and its impact can be life-changing for both the injured person but also their wider family. Ensuring your head protection is worn and cared for correctly is key to remaining safe.
“To all those working on site or in the construction industry, we urge you to always wear your hard hat.”
Chris Tidy from Centurion Safety Products, added: “We want people to understand the devastating effects of brain injury. It’s not just the individual that’s impacted, a brain injury can change the lives and futures of partners, family members and friends.
“Centurion and Headway want to drive the awareness of brain injury but also help wearers of safety helmets and hard hats to understand the possibly lifesaving piece of PPE they are wearing.
“We would like a week dedicated every year going forward for all wearers to audit their safety helmet or hard hat for signs of wear and tear, make sure it is in date, remove any unchecked stickers and sanitise/clean this piece of safety equipment whilst in a safe environment.
“We would like to challenge other safety helmet manufacturers to get involved and publicise this event going forward.
“We also want wearers to understand that 30% of head injuries occur from slips, trips and falls from the same level where the wearer could suffer a rotational injury.
“We would like to educate the wearer on the risk of concussion and give them a concussion recognition tool that will help them to understand the early warning signs, showing the person may be at risk so they can seek medical attention.”
Headway and Centurion are holding a Hard Hat Awareness Week raffle, the proceeds of which will go towards helping Headway deliver its frontline services and improve life after brain injury.
Several leading names in the construction sector have already pledged their support for the initiative including Amey utilities, HSE network, Skanska, Costain, Strabag and CHAS.
Everyone within the industry is invited to take part by sharing images of their audited hard hats on social media using #hatwise.