DON'T SWEAT IT
Hard hats and helmets are vital protective equipment on job sites where there is any potential risk from hazards that may impact the head. While they have been designed to reduce any strain on the head, neck, and spine, they can become uncomfortable to wear in heated environments or during hot weather. Although perspiration is expected, heavy hard hats or those made with particular fabrics or materials can block airflow making workers feel hotter or at higher risk of heat-related illnesses, and therefore unable to do their jobs efficiently. They may even want to take off their hard hats, which not only goes against workplace health and safety but could lead to serious injury if an accident were to occur. A specifically designed cooling hard hat can make working more tolerable.
A COOLING HARD HAT LINER CAN KEEP THE HEAT AT BAY
Because we lose most of our body heat through our heads, a hard hat or helmet can trap that heat, making workers feel hotter or sweat more. As a business owner or manager, you should do everything you can to protect your workers while also keeping them cool and comfortable. A cooling hard hat is one of the easiest ways to do this. You can look for a hard hat that has a tough outer shell, with an inner lining or cooling pads that can be refrigerated or wet to help keep the wearer cool. Because they are soft, lightweight or compact, cooling pads are a simple way to keep cool, and workers are able to easily repeat the cooling process as often as they need to.
It’s important to review your workplace to ensure that your workers are not at high risk of developing heatstroke, or any other heat-related injuries. If they are, you can look at adequate ways to better cool the area or your employees. As well as specific cooling hard hats, there are some other features you can look for in hard hats or helmets to help keep workers cool.
- Vents. Some hard hat options come with extra vents that allow air to circulate This helps sweat and moisture to evaporate, for more comfort.
- Visors and shades. Hard hats that come with built-in visors and shades will better protect workers' eyes and faces from the sun, as well as help to keep them cooler by reducing their body temperature.
- Glasses. If work areas are highly sunny or bright, UVA and UVB sunglasses should be worn to reduce glare, on top of any other required eye protection.
- Cooling pads. If you can’t find a cooling hard hat, evaporative cooling pads or towels can be inserted into the helmet or around the forehead or neck, to reduce the temperature of the head.
As temperatures soar in unpredictable climates, working outside can cause overexposure to the sun, leading to heat stress and dehydration. Workers across Australia and New Zealand are asking themselves what to wear when working outside in the heat. According to Safework Australia, working in extreme heat can lead to a range of heat-related illnesses, including heat rash, heat exhaustion, and heatstroke. It’s essential to know the signs of heat stress and take measures to prevent it. Find out more here.