Welcome back to the Blackjack Blog! This month we have talked a lot about our construction worker friends and family. The folks who put in the backbreaking work, the sweat (and hopefully less blood) into our very landscape. We talked about how to foster a safe job site, and what kind of education a construction worker might need before they start swinging a hammer. We’re continuing that trend with this post, looking at the form, the build of something everyone out there on every job site across the globe should be intimately familiar with – the construction helmet.
The History of the Construction Helmet, or Hard Hat
The construction helmet started out, like so many things, in the docks. Workers used to cover their hats in pitch and let them cure in the sun. This would harden their hats to deflect or at least minimize the effect of falling objects from ship decks.
Obviously, this isn’t the sturdiest method and so innovation moved onward! In the early 20th century, these early protective hats were made from leather when E. W. Bullard returned from the first World War with his steel helmet in tow, giving him all sorts of fresh ideas on the safety helmet. He patented a new device made of canvas, glue, and black paint, dubbed the ‘hard-boiled hat’ In that same year the United States Navy commisioned him to create a new shipyard helmet, shortly after adding an internal suspension system to create a more effective helmet, and bore a striking resemblance to that original WWI helmet Bullard brought back.
The construction helmet construction (say that five times fast) continued to advance, first to aluminum, then fiberglass and since the 1950’s a sturdy plastic. Typical helmets have a suspension system inside that allow the helmet to rest not directly on the head. This allows for a better distribution of the force of an impact, not directly into the skull. Handy right?
As well as protecting heads from impacts, that are made frequently made to allow customization with various accessories such as visors, wide brims, ear protection, chin straps, insulation panels, mirrors, access for headsets. The hard hat is probably the number one multitool we possess, and most of us don’t think of it that way.
But when you treat your tools right, they’ll be there for you when you need them. When it comes to helmets, it’s important to remember that they don’t last forever, and misusing or altering them only speeds up that lifespan.
A Danger to Safety
Too many workers out there will mount their lamps on their helmet by drilling a mount into it. Aside from the obvious problem of having a screw or bolt just centimeters from your head, those holes also compromise the structural integrity of the helmet. Where it once could have taken a blow and bounced it away harmlessly, the helmet now has points of weakness. The blow might send a ripple through the surface to those holes, cracking the material and leaving your head exposed. That’s no good.
That’s why we invented the Blackjack Industrial mounts and strap retention system. We saw too many problems with multiple straps and accessories across our helmet being pushed out of the way, slipping off, or moving when we needed them to stay put, and the other solutions to keep those straps in place simply aren’t an option.
We need to be able to see, to hold our headlamps or goggles or whatever else in place, without risking our helmet’s integrity. That’s why Blackjack Industrial exists. In need of mounts yourself? Contact us, or head right over to our product page and secure yourself some mounts for a low price. We’ll see you back here in December!