OHS Code Explanation Guide

Published Date: July 01, 2009
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Part 18 Personal Protective Equipment

Section 239 Exemption from wearing headwear

To perform certain functions, workers may need to remove their protective headwear. When this is the case, the employer must ensure that an adequate alternative means of protecting the worker’s head during the work process is in place. This might be a simple matter of having persons working above the worker stop work and ensure that nothing falls down during the time that the worker beneath them is without head protection.

Providing overhead protection with a solid barrier or properly designed safety net are other approaches that may protect the worker from the hazard. If the falling object hazard is still present after the work process is completed, the worker must immediately return to wearing his or her protective headwear.

Situations sometime arise in which an employer requires a worker to wear protective headwear and the worker wears a turban as part of his religious doctrine. The Safety Bulletin “Protective Headwear and Turbans” referenced below provides advice to employers and workers. The advice strikes a balance between ensuring the worker’s safety while respecting their personal values, and the employer’s obligation to provide a safe and healthy workplace.