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Construction Hard Hats Are The Most Successful Personal Protective Gear Ever

By Elena McDowell

Most employees conclude that the safety staff is responsible for preventing damage, injury or death from occurring in the workspace, though that would logically require prescience. Instead, safety professionals provide risk identification so that protective policies, procedures and equipment can be put in place. The most successful example in the history of the industrial age is venerable construction hard hats.

When an employee first walks into a new work environment, they see the physical environment for the first time, and sometimes things jump out at them as unusual or even dangerous. An unlit corridor with uneven flooring is immediately obvious to someone knew, but to those traversing the corridor repeatedly, it is normal. This ability to incorporate unusual, even dangerous conditions is part of what makes risk management problematic.

No matter how vigilant, inspections can not find all the conditions in a work environment that can be dangerous to workers. The people who work in the area of a hazard have usually already assimilated the condition into their environment and no longer perceive it as a hazard. For this reason, real answers to not get put in place until after an accident has occurred.

The notion that rules, regulations and personal protective gear requirements follow mishaps which resulted in damage, injury or death is known to professional safety personnel as the concept of blood priority. Until someone gets hurt or something is broken, actions aimed at preventing such an event carry little weight. Even for preventive mechanisms adopted because of such an event must be accompanied by continuous reminders to be accepted by workers.

People simply do not believe that accidents and injuries will happen to them, that they are somehow immune for the possibility. In part, they think that the people who get hurt were doing something they should not have done, and should have known better. Further, people naturally consider themselves too smart to fall victim to a workplace injury of any kind with or without protective measures.

Unfortunately, statistical evidence shows that outright incompetence is rarely the cause of an accident. Most of the time the individuals affected have adequate if not extensive experience int he task they were accomplishing and the necessary precautions. Usually, some sort of distraction interrupted the habit patterns and vigilance of the individual, and no one is immune to such distractions.

No matter how experienced, skilled and professional one is, circumstances can combined to change the focus normally demonstrated by an individual. When even a single mistake can be disastrous, more extreme measures are in place, so airlines use multiple pilots, and they work exclusively by checklist, and even still there are occasional slips. While it is not yet universal, surgeons are beginning to use this method.

Personal protective gear is designed to help individuals remain injury free even when things go wrong. Unfortunately, people see this equipment as unnecessary and resist using them consistently. One notable exception is the introduction of hard hats in construction areas, which has come t be a symbol of good work and is popular, yielding high compliance rates and lives saved.

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