Health and Safety Fails: the 'seriously unsafe' safety mask

Do you remember when you were a kid? Back when you would use your child-like creativity to pretend a toilet roll was a rocket ship, or a washing line was a zip wire for your Action Man? Well this week's tool appears to have reimagined the humble plastic bucket as a stand-in safety mask. 

It takes no Einstein to work out why this is a no-no when it comes to health and safety, and has lead to me producing an article I never thought I would write: why not to wear plastic bins on your head when using heavy machinery. Yet here we are. 

If you've ever used a circular saw you'll happen to know that sparks fly out of it in a ... well ... circular motion. This puts immediate risk to your hands, clothes and (most importantly) your eyes. You only get one pair of those, so it's worth protecting them right? 

If you happen to find yourself in a situation whereby you need to saw through (what appears to be) a solid concrete floor, it would be worth locating a proper safety mask - or goggles at the very least.

This guy though, well he improvised. And while improvisation might be appreciated in the art of acting, it most certainly doesn't have any place on a building site. Check it out ... 

First of all, 10/10 for the protective gloves. But if that's (and I think it is) an empty Haribo bucket on his head, I literally have no words. There are certain elements I must commend however, such as the apparent snug fit and the way that he's left the handle attached at the rear for easy removal. Stroke of genius.

The proper way

It's safe to say I'm teaching most of you to suck eggs when I suggest avoid wearing plastic buckets as safety equipment. I'm pretty sure the curvature of it is impeding his view somewhat, meaning that line he is cutting will be as straight as a curly wurly (do they still make those?).

Instead, you should opt for eyewear which carries industry-standard compliances CE and EN166. Most safety glasses are made from a tough polycarbonate lens, which will protect your eyes from any wayward sparks and splinters.

I know Mr. Bucketman above isn't welding, but if you were to require eye protection for that, then safety goggles simply won't cut it. Instead you'll need a proper welding mask that can offer you full UV/IR Protection (preferably up to DIN 13). 

Although I've never had the need for a welding mask, I've always wanted one just so I can try the cool 'flip down' thing, before working away to an 80's theme tune in a cool montage (basically the A Team).

Anyway, hopefully you've taken a giggle and some sound advice away from this, and you will think twice before you spot a makeshift safety helmet in the corner of a building site. 

Losing my eyes isn't something on my (plastic) bucket list.

Written by Jon Clarke

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