- Jun 12, 2018
For decades, the construction industry has used the same personal protective equipment (PPE) to keep our workers safe; hard hats, high visibility vests, safety-toed boots, gloves and glasses have been responsible for saving numerous lives and preventing countless injuries. But just as design and construction technology progresses among construction companies, so too should the critical equipment we rely on to protect our people.
The faithful hardhat has undergone a makeover in the past few years and the transformation is incredible. An addition of a chin strap keeps the hard hat in place no matter what task is being formed, while the hearing and eye protection can now be an integral part of the headwear and can’t be forgotten or misplaced. While standard hard hats provide adequate protection to satisfy American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards, the new helmet style not only offers additional protection from front, rear and side impacts, but it can also accommodate eye protection, hearing protection and the integral chin strap.
The prospect of improved safety was all we needed at Gilbane to trial this new product. Last year our Safety Peer Group decided to adopt Kask helmets on our jobsites as part of PPE and Gilbane now has over 3,200 Kask Helmets in the field. We chose Kask because of the brand’s specialization for manufacturing heavy duty safety helmets of the highest quality in the fields of skiing, mountaineering and safety. These helmets are safer, lighter and more comfortable than the traditional hard hat, and will drastically improve safety for construction workers. They also have a greater service life and are good for a 10-year period (an upgrade from five years for shell and one year for the inside liner).
We recognize project teams love their annual Safety Week hard hat stickers and the nostalgic stories this insignia tells of past jobs and their career journey. But after wearing the new helmets for the first half of the year, our employees don’t want to go back to the old-style hard hat. This technology successfully removes the hazard of the hard hat being removed during a task, and wearing the face shield eliminates the possibility of forgetting to wear eye protection. While I know it’s important for technological advances to also ensure the timely and quality delivery of projects, it’s far more exciting for me to watch evolving technology that is focused on supporting the safety and well-being of construction workers.
For more on our commitment to safety, read about our Gilbane Cares philosophy.