With head injuries always a present risk on construction sites, it’s no surprise that vendors of personal protective equipment (PPE) are looking at more modern hardhat designs that could raise the bar on worker safety. It’s also no surprise that LeChase – which strives for zero incidents and world-class safety – is taking a closer look.
The new styles of headgear look like protective helmets for skiing or rock climbing and are just starting to enter the construction industry. According to suppliers like Kask, they provide a number of benefits over traditional hardhats – which have largely remained unchanged over the past several decades. In addition to offering protection from falls and heavy impact, the new helmets are lightweight, comfortable to wear and stay on during a slip, trip of fall. Also, workers can add accessories like hearing protection or ANSI-compliant visors that eliminate the need for wearing separate safety glasses underneath. Even attachable full-face shields are available for tasks like chipping or pouring concrete.
Within LeChase, Southeast Regional Safety Director Brooke Hathaway recently organized a beta test with Kask. Brooke and 22 southeast employees, along with Regional Safety Director Wayne Durand in Schenectady, volunteered to try out the new helmets for a month. After the 30-day trial, the participants will complete a survey for Kask, which uses the feedback to continuously improve its products.
On a broader scale, workers in each LeChase region will be involved in similar tests using products from other vendors. All of the groups will provide feedback to regional LeChase safety committees. Thanks to their willingness to try something new, the volunteers will help the safety teams determine if the next-generation of hardhats will soon be offered as a PPE option within the company.