Each year, thousands of construction workers suffer head injuries on the job. Some common causes of head injuries include:
- Being struck by a falling tool or material or a moving object, such as materials being moved by a crane or another worker.
- Falling and coming in contact with an object or surface, such as equipment, a wall, or the ground.
- Coming in contact with overhead hazards, such as equipment or electrical wires – the latter can result in a worker being electrocuted.
In 2018 alone, almost 8,000 construction workers suffered a head injury and 230 construction workers died from their injury. These deaths and injuries take a significant human and financial toll on the injured workers, their families, and their employers.
The following research and resources can help raise awareness of the risks and ways to prevent head injuries.
Information and Resources to Prevent Head Injuries
- Head Protection: Preventing Head Injuries (15-minute Awareness Program recording)
- Hazard Alert: Preventing Head Injuries (English, Spanish)
- Toolbox Talk: Head Protection (English, Spanish)
Standards and Requirements
- The U.S. Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) 1926 Subpart E, Personal Protective and Life Saving Equipment, Head Protection
- American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z89.1-2009, Z89.1-2003, and Z89.1-2003
- ANSI/International Safety Equipment Association z89.1-2014
NIOSH Articles and Research
- 100 Years of the Hard Hat, 100 Years of Safety, Dr. John Howard, Director, NIOSH, From the Director’s Desk, Volume 17, Number 8 (December 2019)
- Shock Absorption Performance of Construction Helmets under Repeated Top Impacts Dr. Chris Pan, NORA Construction Sector Council Meeting (November 2019)
- Shock absorption performance of construction helmets under repeated top impacts. Dr. Chris Pan, Proceedings of the XXXIst Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference (June 2019)
- Effects of impactor mass in top impact tests in evaluation of shock absorption performance of construction helmets: a preliminary study. Dr. Chris Pan, “Proceedings of the XXXIst Annual International Occupational Ergonomics and Safety Conference (June 2019)
- Evaluation of the shock absorption performance of construction helmets under repeated top impacts. Dr. Chris Pan, Eng Fail Anal 2019 Feb, Volume 96 (February 2019)
- Quantification of the shock absorption performance of construction helmets in top impact. Dr. Chris Pan, Proceedings of the American Society of Biomechanics annual meeting (August 2018)
- A computational model for optimization design of construction helmet. Dr. Chris Pan, Proceedings of 5th International Conference on Computational and Mathematical Biomedical Engineering (April 2017)
- An improved finite element modeling of the cerebrospinal fluid layer in the head impact analysis. Dr. Chris Pan, Bio-Med Mater Eng, Volume 28, Number 2 (March 2017)
- Automatic detection of helmet uses for construction safety. Dr. Chris Pan, Proceedings of the 2016 IEEE/WIC/ACM International Conference on Web Intelligence Workshops (January 2017)
- Finite element simulations of the head-brain responses to the top impacts of a construction helmet: effects of the neck and body mass. Dr. Chris Pan, Proc Inst Mech Eng, Volume: 231, Number 1 (January 2017)
- An improved finite element model to simulate the brain acceleration due to a front impact. Dr. Chris Pan, Proceedings of the Sixth American Conference on Human Vibration (June 2016)
- Washington State Department of Labor and Industries. Head protection [Hard Hats]: Training on The Use of Hard Hats in The Workplace (2009)
- Taking care of your Hard Hat, The Occupational Health and Safety Magazine (2001)