If you work in the construction industry, you probably know by now that wearing a hard hat is a good safety measure to take while working. Head injuries account for 9 percent of injuries to laborers, and while that might not seem like a huge amount, that number would be a lot higher without hard hats.
However, wearing any old hard hat simply is not enough. Just like food, hard hats do have expiration dates. Plus, when they get dented or cracked, they lose their effectiveness.
It’s not enough that a hard hat “looks fine.” It could have internal damage after being impacted by a previous accident. The next time if suffers an accident, it could cause a brain injury or even death.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) requires employers to provide and pay for hard hats when employees are working in unsafe situations. To save on costs, though, employers may purchase used hard hats or require workers to wear older ones. These faulty hard hats can lead to a brain injury.
Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs)
TBIs kill 500,000 people every year. They can lead to permanent physical and mental disabilities. They can severely impact thinking, memory, vision, hearing and personality.
The construction industry has the highest number of TBIs. Most are caused by falls. Getting struck by an object or getting hit by a car are also high on the list.
TBIs can be prevented by helmet use. Make sure the helmet you wear meets the American National Standards Institute standard and is not damaged in any way. If it is, ask your employer for a replacement. You are required by law to have a safe hard hat.
Hard Hat Care and Replacement
Hard hat replacement should occur at least every five years. If the shell appears brittle or shows cracks, throw it away. Damaged hard hats are unusable and should not be given away or donated to charity.
Hard hats should come with chin straps to keep the hat on your head. These straps may need to be replaced yearly. Replace them if they become brittle or break off.
Use soap and water to clean your hard hat. Do not paint it or use chemicals on it, as this could cause damage. Keep it out of the sun and extreme temperatures.
These same instructions and precautions apply to bicycle and motorcycle helmets as well. Do not use them if they have been dropped or damaged. Protective qualities do diminish over time, so a helmet that is five years old won’t protect as well as a brand-new one.
Suffered Brain Injury After Wearing a Defective Helmet in a Miami Construction Accident?
Employers have a responsibility to provide employees with proper safety equipment at all times. If your employer gave you a defective hard hat and you suffered a brain injury as a result, you may be able to hold your employer liable.
At the law offices of Dolan Dobrinsky Rosenblum Bluestein, LLP, our experienced Miami personal injury attorneys can help you recover compensation for your injuries and help you move on with your life. Request a free consultation by calling our law offices today at (786) 661-1359.