Together, the organisations have partnered to create Hard Hat Awareness Week that runs from 21-27 September and will see a series of activities designed to drive awareness of brain injury and encourage best practice around safety equipment.
The results of a survey conducted by the brain injury charity revealed that more than half of those who experienced a head injury at work did not report an incident to their manager. Just 6% sought medical attention for their head injury.
Also, over half (58%) painted, marked or applied decals or labels to their helmet which could cause a chemical attack and reduce its durability.
Almost a quarter (24%) were unaware that exceeding the expiry date of a hard hat can reduce the level of protectivity, and 28% did not know where to find their helmet’s expiry date or were unaware it even had one.
Chief executive of Headway Peter McCabe said: “Brain injury is more common than you think, and its impact can be life-changing for both the injured person but also their wider family. Ensuring your head protection is worn and cared for correctly is key to remaining safe.
Chris Tidy from Centurion Safety Products said: “We would like a week dedicated every year going forward for all wearers to audit their safety helmet or hard hat for signs of wear and tear, make sure it is in date, remove any unchecked stickers and sanitise/clean this piece of safety equipment while in a safe environment. We would like to challenge other safety helmet manufacturers to get involved and publicise this event going forward.
“We also want wearers to understand that 30% of head injuries occur from slips, trips and falls from the same level where the wearer could suffer a rotational injury.”
Several leading names in the construction sector have already pledged their support for the initiative including amey utilities, HSE network, Skanska, Costain, Strabag and CHAS and everyone within the industry is invited to take part by sharing images of their audited hard hats on social media using the hashtag #hatwise.
Liam Jones [not his real name] was working as an overhead linesman when a metal bar fell and hit him on the head, causing what could have been a life-altering injury had he not been wearing his helmet.
Here, he shares his story as part of Headway and Centurion’s campaign to raise awareness of using and maintaining hard hats while on site.
35-year-old Liam was working on an overhead line job late at night. It was dark and he and his team had been working all day long.
Liam was working on the ground while colleagues were installing a screw-in pin above him. Accidentally, the pin, weighing 1.6kg and measuring 14 inches, fell and hit him on the head.
Thankfully, Liam was following proper protocol by wearing his hard hat.
He said: “Although using hard hats is second nature, seeing my hard hat perform so well and protecting me in a real situation gives me huge confidence in my PPE.”
Liam was left with minor bruising on his head, but he says that without wearing his helmet, things could’ve been far worse.
“The doctor in A&E was thankful I was wearing a hard hat. I feel very grateful to be alive. In my mind, there’s no doubt that the hard hat saved my life or at least from serious injury.”