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Hard Hat Awareness Week: Preventing concussion and brain injury

18/06/2021

Author: Colin Cook

Accidents and Injuries, Brain Injury

Head protection make up only 3% of PPE purchases, yet account for over 20% of injuries.

It’s Hard Hat Awareness Week, a campaign introduced to increase awareness of brain injury and promote the importance of recognising and reporting signs of concussion from users of hard hats. Brain injury charity, Headway, and leading hard hat manufacturer, Centurion have partnered to create this important campaign.

Health and safety awareness is routine practice on modern construction sites with workers wearing hard hats and safety equipment whenever required. However, in these potentially dangerous settings, head and brain injury is a very real risk. There is growing evidence, following many studies in the field of concussion, that even one knock to the head can lead to short-term or long-term damage. Therefore, Headway and Centurion are working together to raise awareness of using and maintaining hard hats while on site.

Headway conducted a survey in 2020 which explored the use of hard hats in the construction industry and understanding of concussion. The statistics revealed some quite shocking results with over half who experienced a head injury at work did not report an incident to their manager and only 6% sought medical attention following the injury.

Peter McCabe, chief executive of Headway said, “Concussion is often referred to as mild head injury and while most mild head injuries result in no long-term damage to the brain, it can cause temporary disruption to brain function that can last for a matter of hours to days, weeks or even months. People may experience dizziness, nausea or even distorted vision so for those working on a building site, potentially operating heavy machinery or working at height, this could lead to some very dangerous situations for themselves or colleagues”.

The survey also found that many respondents were not storing or correctly upkeeping their hard hats.

  • 15% stored their hard hat in an unsuitable location, exposing them to direct sunlight or extreme temperatures
  • 58% painted, marked or applied stickers or labels which could cause a chemical attack and reduce its durability

Hard Hat Awareness Week was created to remind people about the importance of wearing hard hats and taking any impact to the head seriously. Even a minor brain injury can have a major impact.

Hard hat life-span was also amongst the topics raised in the survey and found:

  • 24% were unaware exceeding the expiry date of a hard hat can reduce its level of protection
  • 28% did not know where to find the hard hat expiry date, or that there even was one

If you have experienced a head injury and think you have a claim, contact us today on 01603 660811 or via colincook@hatchbrenner.co.uk


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