Even with the use of hardhats, falling objects and slip-and-fall injuries can still result in brain injuries on construction sites. Hardhats may make some injuries less likely, but they can’t always prevent the accidents that lead to traumatic brain injuries. There are several reasons that hardhats won’t always be as effective as hoped. Between damage from overuse and severe impacts, there are few ways to be 100 percent sure of a hardhat’s ability to keep your brain safe.
The fact is that no construction worker wears a hardhat at all times, even when he’s on site. Workers leaving or coming to work may not have a hat on yet. Sometimes, damaged hardhats or inferior designs break under the pressure of an accident, leading to little protection being offered. Sometimes, even with a good hardhat, injuries are still suffered because of the force of impact, much like when someone is injured when wearing a helmet while playing a sport. The brain then moves inside the head, even though the skull itself is protected.
The construction industry is more dangerous than many, and the Occupational Safety and Health Administration estimates that around 25,000 injuries and 36 deaths take place each year because of workers falling on stairways and ladders. These falls can quickly lead to impacts to the head, which can then result in a traumatic brain injury.
Hardhats aren’t always required on site, which can also be an issue for those who slip, trip or fall. For instance, if there is no risk of falling objects or accidental contact with electrical items, hardhats aren’t required to be worn.
Source: Brain Injury Society, “Despite Hardhats, Traumatic Brain Injuries Still Common on Construction Sites,” Jacob Masters, accessed Dec. 31, 2015