Hard Hats

Question to Ask the Workplace Doctors about hard hats:

Hello, Its seems that painters never want to wear hard hats is this a national phenomenon?

Signed, Frustrated

Dear Frustrated:

We aren’t experts on occupational safety issues, but I can comment on a couple of aspects of this issue. (And since I’m interested in everything new for me, this piqued my interest!) First, a brief search of state and federal OSHA regulations discloses that hard hats are required in commercial operations when employees are working in areas where there is a possible danger of head injury from impact, or from flying objects, or from electrical shock and [electrical] burns. Some portions of various regulations add the issue of being splattered by harmful chemicals.The regulations are written to describe risk, not occupation. So, not all painters would need to wear hard hats, only those who might fall from heights and suffer head injury or who might be hit by falling objects. If the painting job involved the use of ladders or scaffolds or if the painter might be hit by something, hard hats would be required in commercial work. It appears from the regulations that once the painter left the ladder or scaffold and started painting while standing at ground level or floor level, hard hats would only be required if there was a risk of falling objects. (As I said, I’m not knowledgeable about any of those regulations, it’s just the way I read and interpret them.) Y

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