Keeping Your Head and Your Life

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The International Safety Equipment Association

Summary Statement

Describes 3 case studies in which a hardhat saved a worker from serious injury.
Jan/Feb 2001

A highway worker was securing a load of poles, tightening the load binder when the chain broke releasing the bar that hit him squarely on the head. Fortunately, he was wearing a hard-hat, which absorbed the impact and cracked down the center. "The worker's neck took some of the shock but not the potentially deadly blow he would have received to the unprotected skull," wrote the worker's training and safety administrator. (Hard-hat from Bullard,

An overhead crane worker was struck on the head by a 25-pound trolley controller as he worked on a Virginia Power project. The controller fell 10 feet before hitting the worker, but his hard-hat protected him from a serious injury even though the impact far exceeded the designed capacity of the hard-hat A few stitches were all that was needed to get the worker back on the job. (Hard-hat from Mine Safety Appliances Company.)

A 12-foot piece of 3-inch metal pipe weighing 100 pounds fell from a pole, striking a worker on the head. The worker, who was on the ground with his back to the pole, was dazed and sustained a laceration on the neck and bruises to the body from being knocked down. "If not wearing a hard hat, the injuries could have been fatal," wrote his safety director. (Hard-hat from Bullard)

Vern, an employee of a Troy, N.Y., construction company, was sweeping debris from a road construction project when the side-view mirror of a passing truck struck him on the head. Vern was wearing a hard-hat "The doctor at the emergency room said the hard-hat, which split in two, took the impact and saved Vern's life," reported the company's safety director. (Hard-hat from Mine Safety Appliances Company,