Contractors challenge safety status quo

Organizations whose members and market objectives align closely with those of concrete producers have launched campaigns challenging the most basic of job site safety provisions, or delineating who owns what part of the accident prevention equation. 

The ASCC Education, Research & Development Foundation is live with, stating the case for what sponsors view as stronger construction worker protection than present practice. The site promotes an industry shift from traditional head protection gear to a chin strap-outfitted alternative engineered to perform under a greater variety of incidents and worker maneuvers. The Hard Hats to Helmets (H2H) initiative stems from American Society of Concrete Contractors Safety & Risk Management Council measures to reduce head injury frequency and severity, and coincides with key ASCC members’ migration to strapped helmets as their primary head protection requirement. 

The ASCC Foundation envisions a one-stop shop for information related to features, benefits and emerging technologies surrounding impact- and energy-absorbing construction helmets. Site content likewise covers regulatory requirements, the evolution of helmets as primary head protection, site safety success stories, and detailed product information. 

ASCC Sustaining Member Structural Technologies LLC, Baltimore, supported the build. “The site will help get the message out: The construction industry can reduce the number of head injuries and fatalities today by saying no to continuing to use 60-year-old hard hat designs and yes to helmets that deliver the best technology available for head protection,” observes Structural Technologies Chairman Peter Emmons. 

Like those used for biking, rock climbing and skiing, construction helmets are extensively tested and approved for workers throughout the world, he adds. Safety professionals recognize the protection helmets provide from head injuries due to falls, as well as impact and penetration resistance to all areas of the head. With support from industry organizations and partners, ASCC officials note, the H2H site will continue to share a message leading to a reduction of traumatic brain injuries and deaths in construction.

ASCC peer, the American Concrete Pumping Association (ACPA), announced a major safety campaign at World of Concrete 2023 to bring heightened awareness of ASME B30.27, the Safety Standard for Material Placement Systems. “Safer Together: Prevent. Protect. Partner!” highlights the responsibilities of each trade working with or around a concrete pump under the standard. The campaign cornerstone is a new microsite,, offering key insights to all who work with or around concrete pump equipment. 

H2H and Safer Together will impact ready mixed and manufactured concrete producers, especially their team members approaching job sites of contractors who prefer alternatives to conventional head gear or recognize a responsibility break out developed around ASME B30.27. The jury is still out on the amount of traction and buy in the ASCC Foundation and ACPA will realize with their proposals. Both groups should be armed with data definitively linking their proposals to improvements in accident or severe injury prevention rates.