Summer weather brings an increase in construction activity and the frequency of our visits to job sites. The PCI team always considers safety as one of our top priorities and this is why we wear hard hats, safety glasses, and other appropriate Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) to protect us from hazardous debris and the unpredictable conditions on job sites.
Hard hats help protect people from falling or flying objects, or from bumping into stationary objects. They are designed to protect against both the impact force of these objects and any potential of these objects to pierce or impale. The majority of worksite head injuries occur when workers are not wearing a hard hat, so they are important to wear and can go a long way in keeping us safe. Hard hats can commonly be seen on construction sites along with other PPE such as safety shoes, safety glasses, hearing protection, fall protection systems, high visibility vests, and more.
Personal protective equipment, such as hard hats, is just a part of job site safety. PPE is generally considered the last line of defense against workplace hazards, with many other risk mitigation methods undertaken first. Per OSHA’s Hierarchy of Controls, the best way to protect workers is to eliminate the hazards, if possible, or substitute the potentially unsafe conditions with conditions that are less hazardous. When it isn’t possible to remove a hazard, engineering controls can be implemented to keep people safe. This includes measures like installing temporary guardrails for workers, additional ventilation in an area while completing certain tasks, or enclosures or safety guards around hazardous machinery or areas. Beyond physical engineering controls, there are also administrative controls that can be taken, such as properly training employees, or rotating workers to minimize the total time exposed to a hazard. After all these controls are undertaken, PPE comes into play. Because all previous efforts to minimize risks have already been implemented, use of PPE is very important as it is the last control for worker safety.
Making sure PPE is properly used is very important for its effectiveness in keeping workers safe, which is why all PCI employees performing site visits are at least OSHA-10 hour certified. Completing the course helps us learn to identify situations where PPE is necessary and understand how to properly use the protective equipment.