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Do hardhats really help prevent traumatic brain injuries?

On Behalf of | Jun 11, 2015 | Brain Injury

Even though hardhats are being used in construction sites, the number of traumatic head injuries that take place aren’t being completely eliminated. In fact, brain injuries are quite common on these sites, even with safety precautions present. The hardhats can help protect workers against some minor bumps and bruises, but when it comes to being hit with incredibly heavy items or at odd angles, even these may not help. This information is particularly relevant to you if you work in construction; simply wearing a hardhat doesn’t mean you’ll be protected from injuries.

Just like in football, a hardhat is like a helmet, protecting the people using it from concussions and other head injuries. Realistically, many injuries are prevented. However, if you think about it, there are dozens of football players who suffer concussions even while wearing helmets, and the same goes for construction workers wearing hardhats. The Occupational Safety and Health Administration has said that the construction industry has a fatal injury rate higher than the national average and has the distinction of being the field with the highest risk of traumatic brain injuries.

While hardhats are a good start for protection, they can do little to help if they become damaged, aren’t worn or if the accident is severe enough. For instance, if a worker falls from scaffolding and the hardhat falls off, it won’t be much help in preventing an injury. Even with the hat on, the impact could be devastating to the body and still result in a concussion.

Hardhats are only required when falling objects, bumps to the head or electrical hazards are present. That means there are plenty of times when traumatic brain injuries can happen in a construction site due to unprotected workers. The Brain Injury Institute says 20 percent of all traumatic brain injury-related workplace injuries are a result of falls, and that’s something hardhats may not be able to help.

Source: Brain Injury Society, “Despite Hardhats, Traumatic Brain Injuries Still Common on Construction Sites,” Jacob Masters, accessed June 11, 2015