A hardhat primarily is to protect a person from being injured ... Wearing a hardhat also signifies that the person’s personal safety is important to him. Many people dislike wearing a hardhat; I don’t understand why.
people aren’t going to like or agree with this month’s story, but it’s my story
and I’m stickin’ to it!
When I go to drilling sites, I seldom see the employees wearing hardhats. A
hardhat primarily is to protect a person from accidentally bumping his head on
something, or from being injured from something falling and hitting him in the
head. Wearing a hardhat also signifies that the person’s personal safety is
important to him. Many people dislike wearing a hardhat; I don’t understand
First of all, it’s an OSHA safety requirement. In the event an OSHA inspector
happens to step on a jobsite and find an employee not wearing a hardhat, the
company is responsible, and will be heavily fined. The site supervisor, the
person in charge, the driller and the person not wearing hardhat will be
severely reprimanded. It goes on their permanent records. There are no
Have you ever been around heavy equipment and accidentally rose up under a
piece of equipment and bumped your head? Yes, you have! If you were wearing a
hardhat, you usually just said, “@#$%^&*!,” and continued about your work.
But if you weren’t wearing a hardhat, you usually would see stars for a while,
or possibly even get a big knot or, worse yet, a bad cut on your head,
sometimes requiring medical treatment.
Years ago, my dad and I were in a restaurant, wearing our hardhats, when a
handicapped man in a booth got our attention. He wrote us a note because he
couldn’t speak. His note said, “Always wear your hardhat. I didn’t wear mine
and a piece of steel fell on my head – that’s what’s wrong with me today.
Doctors say it damaged my brain.” That man’s story has stuck with me all my
I had two uncles killed on oilrigs. Both were old-time drillers. One was trying
to pull a stuck drill stem. He made everyone else leave the drill floor, and he
pulled the derrick down on himself. The other one was killed when the drill
line broke, and the heavy traveling block fell, driving him through the drill
floor. In both of these cases, hardhats didn’t save them, but I guarantee that
they were wearing them.
Drilling companies, their drillers and their crews are professionals, and
should present themselves as such by always wearing their hardhats. Be proud of
your profession. If you aren’t, you’re just an operator – in that case, get out
of it and do something else.
Watch oil drillers on TV and in movies like Hellfighters. They always wear
their hardhats in restaurants, bars and almost anywhere they go because they
are proud that they are drillers.
A good driller has to be a salesperson, politician, mechanic, plumber,
electrician, carpenter and many other things. Some even have to be good
I’ve been around drilling equipment all my life, and you’ll always see me
wearing my hardhat because I want to be safe, and I am proud to be a
In my lifetime, I’ve seen people injured on drills. I’ve even seen a few
killed, however, most accidents were caused by careless, over-confident or
inexperienced employees. Many were caused by their not wearing hardhats, gloves
or steel-toed shoes at the time.
I remember people asking my dad, Porky Sr., while observing us drilling oil
wells, “Have you ever had a man hurt on a rig?” My dad would say, “Nope, never
hurt a man – killed a few, but never hurt one.” They then usually would back
away from the drill a little.
Wear your hardhat, keep it clean and keep it on!
Note: Hardhats are different today. The small, plastic, hardhat caps are for
engineers. The hardhats with a brim all around are for the real drillers like
John Wayne in Hellfighters. ND
Porky's Hole Thoughts: Be Proud to Wear a Hardhat
November 1, 2008