Tuesday, March 07, 2006

Hard Hats

(A silly rant)

Today was one of those days when we had outside contractors working on our site and I had to go into the cellar to do some work. This puts guys working above me with heavy wrenches and other implements of destruction . A dangerous situation to be sure, so I donned my hard hat so I would have a chance of coming out of the cellar alive if someone dropped something on my head while down there.

Now, hard hats have saved my life a couple of times. Once while removing the horse's head (on a beam pumping unit you civies call it the head of the grasshopper) the chain lifting it broke and that head came squarely down on my head. This hunk of steel weighs about 75 pounds and has edges to it. Without the hat it would have made a damn good dent, even with my thick skull. The other time a guy dropped a 24" pipe wrench on me from about 15 feet. So I am willing to admit the hats can come in handy.

One thing I hate about them is they never fit. Either to loose and they slip down over you eyes, or to tight and after about 30 minutes you have a headache.

The main thing I hate about them is when I walk into that piece of steel that is just above the brim of the hat (sneaky bugger). You don't see it coming and the hat has no real give, so the first indication that something's there is when your skull is jammed down between your shoulders. This is usually good for about 2 days of mostly looking straight ahead because it hurts to move your neck, not debilitating, just enough that you go "damn my necks sore".

My preferred headware, unless there's someone above me with heavy stuff that I figure they will drop on me, is a straw cowboy hat (see pic on profile). If your head is approaching something hard that you weren't aware of, the hat starts to crush. This acts as an antennae. You know something coming and have a chance to stop before it hits. Even if you do hit the steel, the hat cushions the blow.

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