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The Journal for Employee Protection
The Journal for Employee Protection
by Mackenzie Peters
By Mackenzie Peters, Global Product Group Manager, Industrial HEFH at MSA Safety. MSA Safety is a global designer, manufacturer and distributor of industry-leading safety products and customises its hard hats via its MSA LOGO EXPRESS® service.
89/686/EEC, introduced in 1989, aimed to ensure the free movement of personal
protective equipment (PPE) within the EU by completely harmonising the
essential safety requirements to which it must conform. In 2016, this was
updated to Regulation (EU) 2016/425. This regulation of safety standards across
the EU will have no doubt prevented countless severe head injuries and even
from Eurostat, however, reported that 4,409 people across the European Union’s
28 member states were incapacitated long-term due to head injuries at work; 759
workers tragically died. In the UK specifically, these numbers were 254 and 39
respectively. The statistics are sobering, which is why any positive
development or product innovation that contributes to better head protection products
and compliance can only be positive.
Especially so for
those that work in the construction industry as construction work can be a
particularly high-risk activity. Accidents can occur and head injuries are,
unfortunately, a relatively frequent occurrence. They can occur due to a
variety of reasons, including falling objects; striking fixed objects, such as
unprotected ends of scaffolding poles or other projections; or from restricted
In the UK, in a
bid to make construction sites safer, Build UK – the leading representative
organisation for the UK construction industry – has developed a harmonised hard
hat colour standard for contractors. This was an important step. Colour-coding
helps to improve safety by providing consistency in identifying people’s roles
on site. Different experience levels, or visitors, are also easier to
distinguish. On a construction site with dozens, or even hundreds, of workers,
hard hat customisation is absolutely necessary.
including the printing of companies’ logos, doesn’t just help site managers differentiate
workers’ varying roles and responsibilities; it’s also an invaluable marketing
tool, enabling smaller and bigger companies alike to stand out from the crowd
in an increasingly competitive industry. Customisation can also help to unify
workforces and foster a greater sense of collective teamwork and pride.
sub-contractors on a busy, multi-faceted project can be challenging and it’s important
to remember that sub-contractors may be relative strangers to the workplace and
therefore unfamiliar with an organisation’s procedures and rules. Customised
hard hats provide a useful reminder of who’s who and what workers’ positions
and responsibilities are. In addition, personalisation can also increase the
value of a worker’s safety equipment, thus increasing the likelihood that,
first and foremost, it will be worn, but also well looked after.
fundamental safety features can also be added on, including retro-reflective
stickers that enhance the visibility and safety of workers, day and night, and
the promotion of potentially life-saving safety messages and reminders. The
inclusion of badge holders to hard hats can also add another layer of
identification and safety.
“The inclusion of badge holders to hard hats can also add another layer of identification and safety”
Hard hats have
come a long way since 1989. Product innovation and technological advancements mean
that quality manufacturers provide hard hats that are comfortable, lightweight
and durable against the harshest applications. There’s no excuse not to wear
them. And now – given increasingly lucrative projects and busy construction
sites – the evolution of the hard hat has taken its next logical step:
customisation. Knowing who’s who and what they do on site is now an essential
safety consideration. Don’t get left behind.
information, please visit https://gb.msasafety.com/customhardhats
Global Product Group Manager, HEFH at MSA Safety
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