Personal Protection Equipment

Personal Protection Equipment, everybody loves wearing PPEs, right?

Many do not see the need of wearing PPEs. In our modern world of mechanization there are not as many of these guys dressed like this working the woods as there use to be. However, there are employees hired as “set hands," as well as a few sawyers that use a power saw that must wear the equipment shown for maximum protection. It comes back to that old saying, “it is better to have it and not need it than to need it and not have it."

The hard hat must meet OSHA standards. It will have a sticker on the inside of the hat showing OSHA’s approval. How important is this PPE? Meet log cutter Earl. He has cut standing timber with a power saw for many years. When he is in the woods he has a hard hat on. On this day, he walks into the set area to retrieve a part for his saw. The loader operator sees him on the offside of the truck he had just started loading and gives him time to get out of harm’s way. When Earl starts to return to his work area he makes two mistakes, he chooses a path too close to the truck being loaded and he fails to get the loader operator’s attention to stop his operation, setting up a receipt for disaster. Earl has almost cleared the danger zone of the loading deck but not before the loader operator delivers a long slender pine pole to the top of the load. The first sign of trouble the loader operator sees is Earl’s round aluminum hard hat rolling across the ground at the end of the truck. Yes, the pine pole popped Earl directly on top of the hard hat, breaking the suspension straps in the hard hat and putting a dent in the middle of his hard hat. Earl was out cold, for a minute or two. Luckily he did not suffer a severe injury, only a mild concussion. He was back at work the next day. The point of this story is Earl wore a hard hat everywhere he went when he was on the job. This one incident of being prepared possibly saved his life.

One more quick story. A truck driver, Fred, always had a hard hat on when outside the cab of his log truck. After his truck is loaded he attempts to secure his load before leaving the set. Upon tightening the chain around his load, a springboard type of a small stem of wood springs up as he takes up the slack in his chain to get another grip with the ratchet tool. The springboard pole pops up and falls over the trailer standard striking Fred on the top of his head. He suffers a concussion instead of possibly a worse injury or maybe even death. Fred had probably been working in the woods for fifty years or better and always wore a hard hat. The lesson to take home is always be prepared for accidents. The definition of accident is “an undesirable or unfortunate happening that occurs unintentionally and usually results in harm, injury, damage or loss.” These individuals are possibly alive today because they were wearing PPE’s, they were prepared for an accident!