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WHY WEAR HARD HATS
A hard hat weighs in about 14 ounces. The average man's head weighs 14 pounds. So there's an ounce of safety for every pound of head — provided the head protection is properly worn and maintained.
The brain is the control center of the body. The slightest damage to any part of the brain will cause malfunctions of some area of the body. The skull, under normal circumstances, protects the brain. But when a possibility of injury from falling or flying objects exists, additional protection is required. This is the objective of the use of hard hats.
The force of a falling object can be calculated approximately by multiplying the weight of the object by the distance of its fall. A three and one half ounce washer, for example, falling thirty-two feet, will generate a force of seven foot pounds of impact.
Should this washer strike an unprotected head, the force of the blow would be equivalent to 560 pounds; when a hard hat is worn, the force transmitted to the neck and spine is reduced to only 127 pounds.
Often workmen are reluctant to wear hard hats because of an expressed concern of the weight and discomfort of heat during warm weather. Considering the protection afforded, the weight theory is negligible. The average hard hat weighs 14 ounces as compared to the three pounds of the helmet used in World War II and the Korean Conflict. However, under duress of battle, the helmet afforded a psychological feeling of security. Why then, in certain areas of employment, shouldn't the hard hat give this same feeling of security in industry?
Regarding the so-called discomfort of heat, a test in temperature of 110 degrees showed that the inside temperature of a cloth cap and a felt hat were 2 degrees cooler than the prevailing outside temperature. The same test revealed the inside temperature of hard hats varied from 5 to 12 degrees cooler. The material, reflection and air space were the governing factors.
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