Hard Hats: A Handy Place to Keep Medical Information

Originally published by the following source: SBC MagazineJanuary 22, 2019
by Kevin Kutschenreuter

   

Hard Hat Medical information instructionsIf an accident should happen on your jobsite rendering an employee unconscious, how quickly could you find that employee’s health information to share with medical professionals arriving on the scene?

If your answer was “I’m not sure” or “too long,” you might consider the suggestion of Ward Trainor, senior safety manager of CBG Building company in Silver Spring, Maryland. Ward suggests it is helpful for framers to have their employees fill out health information sheets (see images) that they can keep in their hard hats, allowing quick access to potentially vital information about an employee’s health needs and contact information.

“It is a very good idea,” says Ward, as “the information on there is very valuable.” He explains that the sheets list “your name, address, emergency contact to call in case something happens,” but adds that, “the most important part of it is inside there it gives any medical conditions that you might have.” He explains, “A lot of times when people do get injured on the job, if we had that information at our fingertips it would make it a lot easier.”

Hard Hat Medical information exampleMedical professionals are alerted that the information is stored in the employee’s hard hat by a sticker. “You see the little medical information carrier sticker on their hard hat,” Ward says, “and you know inside that hard hat is a pouch that could [include] very valuable information.”

Ward says that using this method can also be appealing to employees who would prefer to keep their health information confidential. “A lot of employees, they don’t want to discuss their health issues,” says Ward, which may make them reluctant to fill out health forms that would be shared with their employer. “But if it’s in their hard hat,” Ward says, “and they have a sense that it’s just their information…and nobody’s going to see it unless it’s [an] absolute emergency, I think a lot of times they’re more honest and open.”

If you don’t already have an efficient system for keeping track of your employee’s health information, consider implementing Ward’s suggestion on your next jobsite. Since information stored in a hard hat can be hard to find if an employee doesn’t have it on them, see here for ways to motivate employees to wear their PPE.  For more information on PPE and the importance of keeping health records, consult your FrameSAFE manual.