The Adventures of Bowl Girl
Meet the youngest grandchild of SCM’s President, Paul Gantt, Quinn.
Yes, that is a bump on her forehead. Like many active toddlers (she’s 20 months old), she stumbled and bumped her head. Fortunately, she was not seriously injured and the next day only had a slight bruise.
One of Quinn’s aliases is “Bowl Girl.”
She likes to put bowls on her head, usually when they are empty but not always, which is also like many toddlers. It makes her grandparents wonder if she would have been injured at all if she had been wearing her bowl.
Now that we have seen the cute pictures, here’s theapplication: wearing personal protective equipment (PPE) can prevent injuries. Hard hats are even more protective than bowls, and can help prevent injuries when there are low hanging obstructions, things that can fall from an upper level, exposed electrical wiring, etc. That’s why many industries have requirements for wearing hard hats.
OSHA requires that employers protect employees. We all know and understand that. And sometimes that includes using PPE. But when we look at the Hierarchy of Controls, PPE is the last one, meaning it is the least effective. So what can we do to increase the effectiveness of PPE?
First, we can make sure that the workplace is safer. In our examples of reasons to wear hardhats, we could fix or remove the things that hang down where you could bump your head, install toe boards on higher levels so that things can’t drop, and the exposed wires could be repaired.
Next, we can post warning signs the can alert workers to low hanging pipes or things that they could run into. We can provide trainings about being watchful for things that could harm us, and to not work directly under where things could drop on us.
And then, we can make sure the PPE is the right hat for the job. Some have ratings based on the amount ofvoltage an electrician is working with. Hard hats should have an ANSI approval. And they should be in good condition, sanitary and ready for use, which you can tell by inspecting it. Ask yourself, if the interior suspension is in working order and if it fits properly. Are there any cracks in the exterior that could weaken it?
To learn more about hard hats, follow this link to OSHA’s Safety by Design page: https://www.safetybydesigninc.com/osha-hard-hat-requirements-hard-hat-safety-rules/