CG Schmidt Embraces Safety First: Transitioning from Hardhats to Safety Helmets

 In Industry, Insights, Safety

Rebecca Christensen wearing her 3M SecureFit Safety Helmet

This week, our jobsites will become even safer and our employees will be even better protected due to our new safety helmet initiative. Every CG Schmidt employee on a jobsite will receive a safety helmet that will take the place of their existing hard hats.

CG Schmidt is the first Wisconsin-based firm to embrace the transition from the traditional hardhat to the safety helmet. Why change now? One of the most visible and critical forms of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) on a jobsite is the hardhat, yet it is also one of the least evolved. Many hardhats used today are the same that have been used for decades.

As the design and technology of construction evolve, so should the protective equipment we provide. A traditional hardhat is designed for impact protection at the top of the head and has little effectiveness protecting against impacts to the front, back or sides of the head. A sudden movement, tilt of the head, or fall, typically leads to the hardhat falling off, leaving the worker unprotected.

The Bureau of Labor Statistics stated that brain injuries led to the deaths of at least 992 construction workers from 2011 through 2015. In 2016, there were nearly 400 fall fatalities. The National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health (NIOSH) found that 25% of deaths in 2016 resulted from Traumatic Brain Injuries (TBIs), most of which occurred from a fall. NIOSH has been studying and working on a change for the past 5 years to help save lives.

The traditional hardhat has evolved and the transformation is not only keeping our crews safer, but also more comfortable. An addition of the chin strap keeps the safety helmet in place, while also offering additional protection from front, rear and side impacts.

Through research and discussion, CG Schmidt has selected the 3M SecureFit Safety Helmet. 3M has a patented pressure diffusion technology that reduces the force on the forehead up to 20% compared to the traditional hardhat, making the new safety helmets more comfortable for daily wear. Furthermore, the new helmets have an eight-year lifespan and 10-year shelf life with a UV indicator on the back. Once the red UV indicator reaches its shelf life, it will turn white, indicating the helmet is no longer safe to use. However, the true comfort comes in knowing that in the event of a fall, your safety helmet will stay on your head and protect against severe injury and death.

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