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Mind your Head: Changes to the Legal Requirement for Wearing Head Protection On-Site

 

Health and safety at work should always be a primary consideration and the construction industry is particularly vulnerable to potential problems and issues due to the sometimes hazardous and dangerous conditions that people are required to work in. 

The vast majority of construction companies do of course take their responsibilities and the safety of their workers very seriously and the HSE also seek to provide adequate protection through regulation, which is why there have been some recent changes in legislation relating to the legal requirements for the provision and wearing of head protection. 

Avoiding injury 

There are situations on almost every construction site where a head injury could occur and an employer is rightly expected to try and organise the work environment and provide the right clothing and equipment in order to minimise the risk. 

The HSE recently revoked the Construction (Head Protection) Regulations 1989 and now includes a provision relating to wearing of head protection on construction sites within the personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992.

This piece of legislation seeks to ensure that all workers are provided with and wear suitable head protection and also have suitable workwear clothing, which can be sourced from specialist suppliers like engelbert-strauss.co.uk. 

Compulsory or not?

If there is no risk of injury to the head then hard hats are not legally required to be worn but the reality is that there will almost always be situations where a risk of injury remains so the site rules will most likely insist that they are worn as a safety precaution. 

Hi-vis clothing 

If a construction site has implement a hi-vis (high-visibility) clothing policy then anyone entering the site for work must obey those instructions. The employer would generally be expected to provide the workwear that you need and it is accepted that hi-vis clothing should definitely be worn on all construction sites where vehicles or plant are operating and this also means that the drivers of these vehicles should be issued with something like a tabard to wear when they step out of the vehicle. 

As you would expect with the potential dangers of an accident occurring within a construction site and surrounding area, hi-vis clothing is considered essential especially when a worker is within close proximity of public vehicles. Temporary traffic management is a good example of this, as drivers approaching the area need to see the potential hazards from as far away as possible, which is why construction workers exposed to these particular dangers often wear hi-vis jackets and trousers as well.

Suitable head protection

Having established the need for suitable safety clothing and head protection some might ask the question as to what exactly constitutes suitable head protection. 

Any head protection provided for construction workers on site should be in good condition and if it shows any sign of previous damage it should be thrown away and not used again. The head protection should fit the person who is wearing it who should also be made to wear it properly as well. 

Safety is always a primary consideration at work and even though many employers impose their own regulations on site, it is also considered vitally important to keep up with current legal requirements too. 

Max Slater’s architectural career spans decades. From design to function, he love writing about his experiences in the industry.

 

 

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