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What can destroy a hard hat?

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There is no on-site staple quite like the hard hat. But how important are they, really? We set out to test the strength and durability of a hard hat in an energy-fuelled video.

The hard hat video

A single melon, wearing a hard hat and goggles, VS. OTT Producer Jordan, dropping a variety of heavy tools from incredible heights. Who will win?

But, this isn’t just any melon wearing a hard hat. It’s you or your colleagues on-site, walking under some scaffolding. Because this is an On The Tools video, and we’re using our imagination.

We wanted to find out how durable a hard hat really is and how important it is to wear one. Naturally, the best way to do that is to dress up a melon and put it to the test.

Starting from a height of 12 ft, Jordan drops a flurry of lightweight tools, including a bolt, a screwdriver, and a trowel onto the melon, which bounce straight off the protected melon. Then, Jordan drops a series of heavier tools, including a hammer, a metal rod, and a mallet. While the hat slips and slides around a bit, the melon remains completely untouched.

So, did you destroy the hard hat?

Here at On The Tools, we like to go further. So, we went higher, and we went heavier. Jordan continues dropping tools on the melon until he reaches 20 ft, and then 40 ft. We even showed what the melon would look like if it wasn’t wearing a hard hat.

In the end, the fiercest opponent against the hard hat turned out to be a mallet from a height of 40 ft. The hat cracked… But the melon was still fine!

The hard truth reasoning

Data from the Health and Safety Executive shows us that the construction industry accounted for 36% of work-related deaths in the UK in 2019/20.

To add insult to injury (literally), the data also shows us that the fatal injury rate in construction is 1.64 per 100,000 workers. This is almost four times higher than the average rate across all other industries (0.42 per 100,000 workers).

We appreciate that incidents that occur on-site aren’t as straightforward as someone standing on a lift and dropping a hammer on a watermelon. There’s a lot more at play when it comes to the human body and the nature of construction work.

Although wearing a hard hat is second nature to a lot of tradespeople, and besides, there are usually regulations on-site which enforce the wearing of them, there might be times when the hard hat might slip our minds, or when we think it’s not as important.

In the video, we used classic On The Tools experimentation to find out how durable a hard hat really is. The result: we’d rather wear one if we’re up against a metal rod falling from a height of 20 ft.

Producer and presenter of the video, Jordan Leeming, said:

“The shoot itself wasn’t as easy as we had initially thought. Dropping small tools and even large metal items from 40 ft actually was really tricky. To make it worse it was raining- as you can see in the video!

However, it was still fun to create. Even more impressive is the fact that a hard hat actually works! I think, in the video, you can actually see my surprise when I drop the mallet from 20 feet- and then 40 feet- and the melon survived.

I was in utter shock. I didn’t believe, at those heights, a hard hat would still work. This does show, for the sake of wearing some lightweight thing on your head, it’s worth it.”

 

Watch the full video on Facebook here.

Has a hard hat ever saved your life? Or maybe you have a suggestion for what we should try next? Get in touch and let us know.

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On the Tools is the largest online construction based community in the UK. Our mission to 'connect construction' is rooted in the belief that those in the construction industry deserve the same opportunities as those within the white collar world.

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