Struck by

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
#1
Today we were taking down a medium ash tree in a side yard over a fence. Nothing extraordinary, easy climb and rig. First piece rigged got stuck in a crotch below (35-40’ from the ground), not seriously and nothing out of the ordinary. Simple walk back to the PW pull up on the rope to loosen and start the lower again. Everyone has done it. As soon as we got the lift needed a 1” dead branch broke free from the brush and fell. My head was down because I was just pulling on the rope. The climber started hollering in the headsets and I knew something was coming, I glanced up just enough to see it falling and I leaned forward and put my head back down to try and avoid it. The limb hit the back of my helmet, shut my Sena off and grazed my left shoulder. Just a stupid 1” piece of deadwood right...
69036146-39FE-4691-95B3-5AF0CC03C01A.jpeg
Wrong... put a couple pretty serious cracks in my helmet. Fortunately there wasn’t enough impact to effect my neck or really my shoulder (my ears were ringing for a bit though). But it’s a wake up call as to why we wear hard hats from start to finish in our work. And if you don’t, I don’t think this will change your mind... but consider it anyhow. This wasn’t a very big limb and supposedly high density plastics. The ball cap ain’t gonna let you, grab another helmet and finish the job. I’ll be ordering another Kask tomorrow!!
 

TimBr

Well-Known Member
#7
@flyingsquirrel25; Yes, glad you are ok. I once had a car parked in a driveway that got hit by a one inch diameter deadwood limb from maybe 80 feet up, and the vehicle came very close to being totaled out. Unibody construction, bent structure. If it had been totaled, I think the insurance company would have wanted proof that the car was sold as junk before issuing a check. Fortunately they were able to effect some kind of repair, & allow me to keep the car. A one inch branch.

Tim
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
#9
Glad you're okay Mert. I should probably get a spare helmet myself.
Lucky for me I ordered a new one, then found the one I bought for my wife a couple years ago. So I’ll have a second new one by the end of the week. Lol. I had honestly forgotten about it, since I haven’t seen it in a couple years. Harvested the Sena off the broken one and installed it along with the freshly cleaned face shield on hers.
I am certainly not afraid to have a spare hanging around!
 

evo

Well-Known Member
#11
I have never held a Kask or protos helmet, but
For a very short moment had a alevo vent. Felt stripped down and like the abs was thinner. Mine cracked at the ear muff slot within 4-5 months. I put a dab of super glue on it to get me by and then sent it to petzl USA. The phone conversation I had was that their goal was to make a bare bones minimalist helmet as light as possible.
This brings up the question of what is over built vs minimal when it comes to PPE?
Regardless glad your healthy and whole. How far did the 1” limb fall? What kind of wood? Do you feel that your hat did it’s job, or if it was built a little heavier it could have lived to see another day?
 

Daniel

Well-Known Member
#12
I had a very similar incident happen a few years back... If it only saves your life once, it was worth wearing for your entire career....

Dropped a small stub, maybe 2" by 3 feet long from 75'. Hot the cab guard on the bucket truck, went through 3/8" plywood and left a 3" crater in the heavy steel mesh of the cab guard... I was surprised at how much damage that little stick did... No way it could have been survived if it hit you in the head, even with a hard hat... Watch working under deadwood!
 

flyingsquirrel25

Well-Known Member
#13
How old was the cracked helmet? Sun exposure?
I’m not 100% sure but 2.5 or 3 years tops. I bought it just before I left full time employment and went out on my own. Yeh for sure sun exposure could have had an effect. When I set it next to my wife’s (actually older but sat in a dark space) you could see the fade.

I have never held a Kask or protos helmet, but
For a very short moment had a alevo vent. Felt stripped down and like the abs was thinner. Mine cracked at the ear muff slot within 4-5 months. I put a dab of super glue on it to get me by and then sent it to petzl USA. The phone conversation I had was that their goal was to make a bare bones minimalist helmet as light as possible.
This brings up the question of what is over built vs minimal when it comes to PPE?
Regardless glad your healthy and whole. How far did the 1” limb fall? What kind of wood? Do you feel that your hat did it’s job, or if it was built a little heavier it could have lived to see another day?
I think there is a balance between protecting your head from falling objects and protecting your neck from repetitive stress wearing a heavy hard hat, because we are always looking up. I think though the biggest contributor to this crack was the strike between the vents (probably the weakest point on the helmet). But again, in the summer a ventless helmet around here is like a microwave for the brain, so it becomes what is easier to prevent or avoid.
The white Ash branch (not EAB) fell from 35 or 40 feet so not overly high. I do feel the hard hat did it’s job and am quite satisfied that I received every cent of value from my $139.99. I do believe though if I were wearing an E rated version it would still be functional. But for the mere pennies a day it has cost me over it’s life I’m ok with it’s retirement, and will have a brand new one Friday to put on the shelf as a spare.
 

southsoundtree

Well-Known Member
#14
I believe that helmets are marked with date of manufacture, and are required to be replaced periodically. Anyone know?



I had a Pacific Kevlar helmet at one time. Way too heavy, and I'm not a pencil-neck.



Impact absorbing styrofoam (or whatever) in Kask helmets adds a bit of weight.

Sena intercoms add a bit, muffs and visor add a bit.

Definitely a balance between head protection and chronic wear and tear.
 

monkeylove

Well-Known Member
#16
It worked and did it's job, thats all we can ask from PPE. Much like cars I think or hope that there is a lot of engineering that goes into them. There is probably a fine line between how much force the helmets can take and how much would have been catastrophic to your body and no use in the long run anyway. The newer personal vehicles are designed to absorb impact, save your life, and then throw away usually. I would think that much of that same thinking goes into modern safety gear.
 
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