Be site safe: Protect your head

Health and safety are at the core of most businesses. Particularly in the trades and construction sectors. On all commercial sites it’s a requirement to have full personal protective equipment (PPE) – boots, high vis vest, gloves and hard hat – you name it, you must wear it. However, when it comes to residential sites, the onus is on the worker and no legislation or safety requirements come into play.

Recently we spoke to an Auckland based builder who ended up learning the hard way about being over cautious with PPE on residential sites.

“I’d had a couple of knocks on the head before and never really thought anything of it. Us kiwis always have the notion of She’ll be right, but with my latest knock, it ended up quite different.”

Working on site one day, Steve was working at heights. The job at hand was to repair a couple of trusses in the roof. Whilst hammering a few nails in, he accidentally stepped up on the latter to fast and hit his head on a roof truss. At first, he thought nothing of it, but after the second bang, things started to go wrong.

“It didn’t take long before I had a pounding sensation in my head. Next minute, I started losing my vision in one eye. The pounding got worse and I had to stop what I was doing and get down from the ladder”.

After driving home with partial site in one eye, Steve realised that something was seriously wrong. After a trip to the Accident and Emergency clinic, it was found that not only the bang to his head caused him concussion, but he’d also detached the retina in his right eye. The result of this was retina reattachment surgery, 6 weeks off work and no driving.

“I was house bound for weeks – all from a bump on the head. It’s so important to protect yourself no matter the site environment or how easy the job is. It’s common sense but from now on, I’ll definitely be wearing my hard hat regardless.”

We all know in theory how important wearing PPE is, but when you hear stories like this, it really hits home. Here is a list of your must have PPE kit when working on any job, on any site – residential or commercial.

  • Hard hat
  • High vis vest
  • Steel capped boots
  • Gloves
  • Safety glasses

Depending on the job, there are other types of PPE that may be required. It’s better to be over cautious to make sure your as safe as possible. If you have any questions about PPE and what you should be wearing on site, get in touch with Hirestaff – one of the team will be happy to help!