I’m honored to share with you yet another safety topic from my jobsite. As a site safety manager, I’m basically an adult babysitter. I work with my team to protect people from harming themselves via not taking steps to protect themselves. I always tell the workers that I want to see them go home in the exact same condition as they came in this morning. We’ve made it again to where we are wrapping up another work week, my friend. For this safety topic choice, I want to review the history of wearing hard hats on North American jobsites within the last 100-years. Before I make a splash with this topic, I want to share some updates on my various projects. As I stated in my last post, I’m re-releasing it under the name “Sugar Momma Baddie” in my online e-store through Spring and Shopify. I have two designs to choose from: 1) Feisty Lady Trio 2) Sugar Momma Bed. Check out the revised designs in this blog post down below. So far, I still have the old slogans on the Shopify and Spring e-commerce platforms. I still need to craft the storefronts with the changed logos very soon. The latest goal is to work on the revisions over the weekend. I shall offer the “$ugar Momma Baddie” store links for the updated logos on the merchandise when I finally get around to making the revisions. The audio book version for, “Not All Girls Play With Dolls” is now available on Audible in audio form as well as hard cover, paperback, epub, and on iTunes. The audio book went live back on October 10th within the French, Dutch, U.K., and U.S. markets on Audible. The links for each market can be found further down in this blog post.
It’s time to get into the purpose of this safety blog post. I opted to work on investigating the history of the hard hat. Each year, it is estimated that 6 million hard hats are sold in the United States. The very first head protection was released in 1889 in the form of a leather miner’s hat. Just like the first steel toe shoe, the military was the birthing place where head protection evolved into a hardened structure. The U.S. Navy commissioned E.D. Bullard Co. with the task of creating a protective hat that resembles the WWI “brodie” or “doughboy” helmet. Shipbuilders used to cover their hats with tar to harden them and create a layer of protection. Wearing a military helmet saved many soldiers from flying shrapnel and debris along with a hail of rapid fire ammunition. A young lieutenant, who served in the U.S. Army’s cavalry, first saw the effectiveness of the military helmet for soldiers during his time while serving in World War I. He was looking to use his war time knowledge so that he may design an even better hard hat. By 1919, Edward W. Bullard returned home to the family business, known as E.D. Bullard Co., in San Francisco and opted to develop a hard hat for civilians. Today, the main headquarters for E.D. Bullard Co. is in Cynthiana, Kentucky. E.D. Bullard Co. is now one of the leading manufacturers of personal protective equipment on a global scale. The family business was founded by the inventor’s father Edward D. Bullard back in 1898. This family business started out as a manufacturer who created carbide lamps and other equipment for miners in California, Nevada, and Arizona. After returning from the war, Edward Jr. began developing ideas for affordable safety headgear that would effectively work to protect the miners. This new means of personal protective equipment was first known as the “hard boiled hat”. This head protection was made out of heavy, duck canvas and leather and it was coated with shellac. This civilian hard hat version needed to be smaller and lighter than the military version due to miners working in small underground locations. One hat was made of Bakelite which was an early form of plastic. The early hard boiled hats were rather heavy and made out of steel.
Edward Jr. had crafted and patented 13 different designs for his hard hat creations that were designed for different industry applications. The second hard hat patent in 1928 was the introduction of inner suspension within the hard hat that was actually awarded by 1930. Hard hats were not required to be worn until the creation of Hoover Dam, formerly known as Boulder Dam, back in 1931. Later on, the chief engineer of the Golden Gate Bridge required workers to wear hard hats during the erection of the bridge by 1933. The engineer was highly concerned over falling rivets that would serve as a hazard for workers during the bridge erection process. By 1938, the hard hats of that era were engineered to be lighter in weight since they were then made out of aluminum. The downside is that these hard hats are a natural conductor of electricity. By the 1940’s, fiberglass hard hats were introduced to the market in an effort to combat high heat issues. The first thermoplastic hard hat was released by 1952. The hard hat composition began transitioning to polyethylene material by the 1960’s. The MSA-V Guard design, released in 1962, is still in use today. By 1982, E.D. Bullard Co. introduced yet again a redesigned helmet that incorporated a non-slip, ratchet suspension with a knob in the back for adjusting the snugness around the worker’s dome. All safety helmets have been made out of plastic ever since the early 2000’s. The more modern plastic hard hat became known as the “3000 R”. The 3000 R was produced from polyethylene plastic. This latest round of technology produced a hard hat that is lightweight, durable, easy to mold, and non-conductive to electricity. This polyethylene plastic hard hat was even treated with an ultra-violet inhibitor. This extra safety feature helped the hats weather the outdoor work environment. A modern helmet today is sold at a price range between $15 to $20 dollars each. Once released to be purchased, the original “Bullard Hard Boiled Hat” was listed for less than $3. When adjusted for modern inflation, the very first hard hat cost roughly $45.
E.D. Bullard Co. took on field feedback in an effort to re-design the hard hat even further. They went to work and designed the vented hard hat, known as the S62, that allows for air flow inside the hard hat while still offering the best protection. These hard hat designs must comply with OSHA regulations that also require the use of American National Standards Institute (ANSI) compliant head protection (ANSI Z89.1-2014). The OSHA rule (29 C.F.R. 1926.100) states that employers must provide head protection equipment that meets or exceeds the industry consensus standard ANSI Z89.1. I have never worn the hard hat with the ventilation feature. However, I have seen some guys on my project have that air flow vent feature on their hard hats. From what it sounds like, via field feedback and online reviews, the ventilation feature does provide a noticeable difference in the summer. There is a general color code that indicate job roles out on the jobsite. Yellow is used for general laborers and contractors. White (or sometimes black) indicates supervisors and managers. Inspectors and new workers wear green hard hats and visitors are often given blue ones. Despite having a set industry standard color code in existence, it doesn’t mean contractors follow it at all. After the majority of my experiences, most managers indeed wear white hard hats. However, contractors will often choose a hard hat color that goes with the company brand color(s). For example, I’ve worn a blue hard hat some projects as an electrician. However, I’ve also worn a red EJ Electric hard hat since their brand was predominantly red and Verde Electric since green was the predominant brand color. There are two types of hard hats along with three classes of head protection. Additionally, there are three types of adjustments for hard hats. ANSI Type I hard hat works to protect against blows to the top of the head and meets vertical impact and penetration requirements. The ANSI Type II hard hat works to protect against blows to the top and side of the head and meet both vertical and lateral impact and penetration requirements. Type I hard hats are predominantly used within the United States while Type II are predominantly used in Canada. Here are the three classes of hard hats along with their main function in regards to protecting the worker from momentary brushes with electricity:
- Class E (electrical) provides protection to withstand 20,000 volts
- Class G (general) provides protection to withstand 2,200 volts
- Class C (conductive) does not provide protection from electricity
The standard type and class of hard hat that’s used on the average jobsite is the Class C hard hat for workers who are not exposed to electricity. However, the average electrician here in the United States would be wearing a Type I, Class E hard hat. It’s also suggested for the hard hat to be blue in color. Hard hats come in a wide variety of styles with the intention of providing protection within different work environments. However, the two most popular are the “Cap” and “Full Brim” style. The cap style has a front brim with a rolled edge that’s intended to allow water to drain off the bill. The full brim style is a wider brimmed hat that gives eye protection from sunlight and even rain while working outdoors. As with any product on the market, they come with a wide variety of accessories. These accessories are intended to provide comfort and ease with various applications: light visors, face shields, ear muffs, mirrors, liners, chin straps, cameras, pagers, radios, neck shade protection, and lights. There are three different types adjustments on the hard hat that include: ratchet, pin lock, and one touch. Obviously, the worker must visually check the hard hat for damage and take it out of service immediately if it is damaged in any way. The recommended life span of a hard hat is five years. I’ve worn a bandana under my hard hat for many years to protect my forehead. It works to protect my forehead from pimples that can surface along the suspension strap that connects the hard hat to my forehead. I’ve used those soft liners that snap onto the suspension strap. However, they get dirty and laden with sweat very easily. I’d rather stick with my pink or blue “do-rag” instead. On the project that I’m currently on, the workers for the general contractor all wear the safety helmets in lieu of a traditional hard hat. They have the ability to accept the various accessories such as a face shield, ear protection, and the chin strap. The crew literally look like they are wearing a fancy bicycle helmet. Despite looking ridiculous, it does makes sense to have the chin strap in order to keep the hard hat on the worker during stressful moments. I’ve never been a fan of wearing a hard hat since it works very well to trap the heat on your head to within the hard hat. Additionally, every day is a bad hair day after wearing a hard hat. When you work on high rise projects, you have to tether your hard hat to your clothing. In the event the hard hat falls off and drops from a high elevation, it can injure a passerby who is walking on the ground level. I wear a tether on my hard hat since I’m walking around on a 20-story scaffold within an occupied residential complex. I cannot imagine the long-lasting mental anguish of hurting or even killing an innocent bystander with my personal protective equipment.
Thanks for stopping by to review my “Leslie Talk” on the topic of hard hats. This concludes when I have researched on the subject matter. If this content has sparked any questions, by all means let me know down in the comment section below. My goal is to share some new and useful information with you so that you may be a more informed citizen. Feel free to share this blog post with your fellow construction buddy. I’m game to offer more bathroom reading material at the very least. 😛 I’m always open to safety topic suggestions so don’t be shy and share them. Don’t forget to follow me at leslie_m_jasper on Tik Tok or Verbally Disastrous on YouTube. Share your feedback on my content down in the comment section at the bottom of the blog post. If you appreciate listening to podcasts, I encourage you to review my last (8) podcast episodes that are listed down below from The Verbally Disastrous Podcast, via links for Spotify & YouTube down below. If you are into reading on a Kindle, check out my newest short story release that belongs to my Construction Tales-Told By A Woman Kindle Vella Library short story series on Amazon down below. My last short story #11 is entitled, “Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools”. This short story covers my life as a widowed, single mother in the era when I juggled both motherhood and my career as a journeywoman electrician. The previous short story is #10 is entitled, “Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice”. If anyone has read any of my other previous short stories, let me know your thoughts? Feel free to go ahead and check out the many links for my book #ConstructionTales down below. Now, it’s time to head back to what you were working on before so that you may wrap up your Friday work/school/home tasks so you can get ready for another amazing weekend. As I have said many times, my hat goes off to you if you are hitting that second job and/or night shift! Try your best to go home in the same condition that you came in earlier. I wish you a great morning/afternoon/evening on your side of the globe and a restful or productive day!
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Link To Construction Tales: Volume I: A Woman’s Journey To Become An Electrician (Paperback & Kindle) On Amazon:
Link To Construction Tales: A Young Person’s Guide To Accomplish Anything In Life (Paperback & Kindle) On Amazon:
U.S.A.: Use This Link For The Audio Version Of My Book #ConstructionTales On Audible:
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VERBALLY DISASTROUS PODCAST EPISODE LINKS:
Here is the link to the Verbally Disastrous Podcast on Spotify:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #43: Part A- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #44: Part B- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #1, Episode #45: Part C- Tramping In Cali! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous! Season #2, Episode #46:Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice On YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast! S#2, Ep. #47: Part A- Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast! S#2, Ep. #48: Part B- Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast- S#2, Episode #49: Just Released Not All Girls Play With Dolls!! on YouTube:
Verbally Disastrous Podcast- S#2, Episode #50: My First 7 Weeks As A Site Safety Manager on YouTube:
I shared my latest short story that has been loaded up to my Construction Tales-Told By A Woman Kindle Vella Library on Amazon. This is short story #11 entitled, “Juggling Motherhood & Working With The Tools”. This short story covers my life as a widowed, single mother in the era when I juggled both motherhood and my career as a journeywoman electrician. I share the various challenges I faced and lessons learned along the way. The previous short story is entitled: #10: “Early Life Lessons & Characters To Meet As An Apprentice”. I decided to write about some life lessons such as guarding your personal information, managing nasty rumors, combating sexual harassment, gender discrimination, and racism. Overall, the construction culture has improved dramatically over the past 25-years. Developing both a thick skin and a sharp tongue are key tools needed to survive various jobsite antics. I hope you learn something from this short story. There are more to come. These short stories are now also available as Verbally Disastrous podcast episodes.
Construction Tales- Told By A Woman: (11) Kindle Vella Short Stories On Amazon!!
The Verbally Disastrous Store On Tee-Spring:
Leslie M. Jasper
-Author And Host of the #VerballyDisastrous podcast now alive on many platforms that include: Acast, Amazon Music, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Reason, Soundcloud, Soundtrap, Spotify, Stitcher, Tune In, and YouTube.
-The Audio Blog: Verbally Disastrous Podcast And Construction Tales Blog. Now available on: Acast, Amazon Music, Anchor, Apple Podcasts, Breaker, Castbox, Deezer, Google Podcasts, I Heart Radio, Listen Notes, Overcast, Pandora Podcasts, Player FM, Pocket Casts, Pod Bean, Podchaser, Podcast Addict, Podcast Gang, Radio Public, Reason, Soundcloud, Spotify, Stitcher, and Tune In.
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