May 07, 2019

Hard hats have been a symbol of safety for construction workers for decades. While materials have improved and hard hats are now stronger and lighter, their actual mechanical structure hasn’t changed much.

Construction expert Adam Trautman, project manager for Flintco, joined us on the first episode of Flintco Forward to share his perspective on the evolution of hard hats in the industry.

“Really, the hard hat is a last line of defense on the job site. We try to design and develop plans to mitigate risk; however, there is always the potential for injury. Hard hats have, for the most part, been ‘good enough,’ and many construction workers feel it’s sufficient,” Trautman said.

Flintco has been investing in more safety measures for its workforce and recently introduced the new KASK hard hat to the field. KASK has a long history of developing hard hats for other users like rescue workers and climbers. In these situations, hats need to offer full mobility while also fitting snuggly to a person’s head.

“The hard hat is a critical piece of safety equipment. It could mean the difference in a slight discomfort or a major injury,” Trautman said. “When we introduced the new hard hats, there was resistance because many construction workers have used the same kind of hard hat for ages. So, we decided to approach it from a real-life, relatable strategy so that our workers understand how innovative these new hard hats are.”

What makes the KASK hard hat different? Trautman explained that the hard hats have a chin guard, but one that’s comfortable, not cumbersome. The design itself is unique as well in that it fits the head better and is less likely to come off in a fall or if hit by debris.

When bringing it to their team, Trautman knew that the best way to get them to buy in to the value of the new hard hat was to convince each individual. Though it’s a longer, slower approach, it helped the Flintco team break down the cultural wall around replacing an iconic piece of construction gear.

“We’ve taken a real behavior-based approach to safety and have focused on how much safer the new hard hats are versus traditional ones. When workers understand that this hard hat could save their lives, it resonates,” Trautman said.

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