Hard Hats

The average safety hard hat weighs about 14 ounces. The average man’s head weighs 14 pounds. So there’s an ounce of safety for every pound of head — provided the head protection is properly worn and maintained.


The better care you take of your hard hat, the better care it will take of you. Here are some suggestions:

1. Properly adjust suspension systems to maintain clearance between your head and the shell of the hat.

2. Don’t cut holes for ventilation. Don’t heat and be

3. Don’t substitute a “bump cap.” They aren’t strong enough

4. Don’t paint your hard hat.

5. Don’t put anything under it except your head; this includes cigarettes or notebook.

6. Don’t wear it backward



We sometimes hear the following complaints about hard hats. But is there any real basis for them? “It’s too heavy.” Hard hats are only a few ounces heavier than a cloth cap, but the extra protection you get is worth the extra weight.

“It’s too hot.” Measurements taken in hot weather show that the temperature under a hard hat is often cooler than it is outside. “It gives me a headache.” A thump on the head from something which has fallen two floors will give you a worse one. There is, however, no medical reason why a properly adjusted hard hat should cause a headache. Don’t alter the suspension system or the hard hat, because you won’t get the designed protection.

“It won’t stay on.” You’re right, it won’t in a high wind. A chin strap will solve this problem. Otherwise, you will find that a hard hat stays put no matter how much stooping or bending you have to do—if it’s fitted properly.

“It’s noisy.” That’s your imagination. In fact, tests show that properly worn hard hats will shield your ears from noise to some extent.



The hard hat is a useful piece of safety equipment. But like any other protective device, it must be properly adjusted and worn and kept in good condition to give you maximum protection. Don’t be a hard head — get in the hard hat habit.

Save Your Hands

Here’s a test to see how fast you can untie your shoes. You can use both hands, but you can’t use your thumbs. Not so easy, is it? And, yet, do you realize that 25% of all disabling injuries involve hands and fingers?



What are some of the common causes of injuries to hands and fingers, most of which usually are preventable? They include struck by hammers, pinched between objects being moved, cut by sharp objects, pierced by splinters and slivers, burned by hot objects or chemicals, and caught in moving machinery.



As long as your skin remains unbroken, it can keep germs out. Once it’s opened by a scrape or cut, however, germs can get in and infection can result unless you get proper treatment. And, no matter how rugged you think your hands may be, they aren’t tough enough to stop splinters, slivers, or to resist punctures. That’s why gloves are important. They’re like an extra layer of skin. The nail that rips your glove would have injured you if your hand had been bare. Wear gloves whenever you are handling rough or sharp material. Use rubber gloves when working with chemicals, solvents, or other material that can irritate your skin. Wear gloves that fit properly. Also, remember that gloves shouldn’t be worn when there is a possibility they can get caught in moving machinery.



Guards on power saws and other equipment sometimes seem like a nuisance, always getting in the way. But they’re on the equipment to protect you against injury. By removing guards or otherwise making them ineffective, you increase your chances of getting hurt. Tie one hand behind your back for a day and you’ll appreciate what the consequences of working without a guard can be.



Many hand injuries occur even when you are wearing gloves or using guards. Be alert to these dangers, too. Such injuries can result from the unexpected shifting of material, getting hands caught in pinch points, grabbing moving parts of the machinery, or holding work in the hands that should be held in a vise or securely clamped.

The Right Boot for the Job

To some people, one type of boot is the same as another. In construction, you’ve got to have the right boot for the job.

  • Steel-toed boots should be worn for most work.
  • They not only protect your feet, but keep them dry.
  • Your boots should have good soles to resist punctures or cuts from pointed or sharp objects.
  • Safety insoles can be worn as an extra precaution against
    nail punctures.
  • Laces that are too long could trip you up. Either cut them
    off or tuck the excess length in the top of your boots.


Probably everyone who wears safety boots can tell you of more than once when their boots prevented a serious injury. One important thing to remember, though: Safety boots will only protect you when you wear them.


Hip, hip, hooray! That’s how many persons who work in water over a foot deep feel about hip boots. They keep their feet dry. It’s also the way many persons pouring concrete feel about overshoes. They not only keep the concrete out, but they’re comfortable. Overshoes have buckles that hold them tight to the ankle for more support, and there’s nothing flopping or hanging from the top. Of course, if you get into concrete over a foot deep, you’ll have the unpleasant experience of feeling the concrete seep into the boots and between your toes. You also may experience skin irritation or infection, which concrete can cause. A form of protection worn in muddy areas is the over-the-shoe boot. Called the engineer’s boot by some, it isn’t as snug as the overshoe and has a tendency to bend or flop as you walk along.



There’s always a danger in sharing protective footwear, like hip boots, with someone else. If that person has a foot infection, you’ll soon inherit it.