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Hard hats to become like mountain climbing and sports helmets

West Virginia workers on jobs where objects could fall or fly around face a risk of serious injuries. Because of this, an Occupational Safety and Health Administration rule requires protective helmets for these workers. A typical hard hat has an interior support that separates the skull from the outside of the hat, which could diffuse and limit the impact of an object on the wearer. Now some construction companies are seeking to improve upon the design of workers' protective gear by adapting technology used in helmets for mountain climbers and other athletes.

An engineer from the National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health noted in 2014 that workers deserved better protective gear. He called for equipment manufacturers to draw upon advances in engineering, medical science and material science.

Improvements could spare lives because construction workers experience a high rate of fatal traumatic brain injuries. Data from the period of 2003 to 2010 revealed that 2,210 deaths occurred among workers in the construction industry because of blows to the head. Older workers age 65 and above had the highest death rate in this category.

When people are fatally injured on the job, their surviving family members might be entitled to receive workers' compensation death benefits under the decedent's employer's insurance coverage. This can often be a complicated process, as claims are required to be filed within a specified time period. In many cases, an attorney can help the family to seek these benefits by ensuring that the claim is complete and timely filed. An attorney could also be of assistance if the claim is denied or disputed.

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