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To wear or not to wear a hard hat: That's the question

It doesn't matter that the Occupational Safety and Health Administration requires construction workers to wear hard hats. It doesn't matter that your boss requires you to wear a hard hat at all times on the job.

The real reason you should wear a hard hat at work is because it could save your life.

Here's why every construction worker needs a hard hat

If you don't put on a hard hat when you're working at a construction site, you could be at risk of suffering a serious injury. You could even be at risk of dying if an object falls from a great height and hits your head.

With the protection of a hard hat, though, you have a better chance of surviving. Hard hats protect you because they have a suspension system inside them. It's like a shock absorber that protects your head in case of an impact. This suspension system offers about 1 1/4 inches of space between the hard, impact-resistant shell of the hat, and the skin and bone of your noggin.

Imagine a hammer or a screwdriver falls from a height of five stories. An object like that could easily pierce through your skull and kill you -- or leave you with severe brain damage and other permanent injuries. However, a worker wearing a hard hat might survive an incident like this without a single injury. At the very least, his or her injuries could be dramatically less severe.

There's a high rate of non-compliance regarding hard hat laws

Even though hard hats save lives, there's a high rate of noncompliance regarding hard hat laws at construction sites in New York and the rest of the country.

If you're ever tempted not to wear a hard hat on the job, remember this: The feeling of the wind blowing in your hair, being more comfortable -- or just looking cool -- is never sufficient to risk your life by failing to don one of these life-saving implements.

Did you get hurt from a falling object on the job?

Injured New York construction workers qualify for protection under our state's workers' compensation system. If you suffered due to a falling object on the job, it doesn't matter if you had a hard hat on or not. You may be able to get money to pay for your medical care through the appropriate filing of an application for workers' compensation benefits.

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