Connect & Construct, 2/1/2019
In 1919, a man by the name of Edward Bullard invented a construction safety product that would become the ultimate symbol of the industry: The hard hat.
Inspired by helmets he’d worn as a soldier in World War I, he manufactured it from boiled canvas, glue, and black paint and called it the “hard-boiled hat.” It was designed to protect workers from falling objects, and it was so effective it eventually became industry-standard.
Over time, Bullard’s company added a suspension harness and other features, and the “hard-boiled hat” evolved into the brightly colored “hard hats” construction workers still wear today.
In the following couple of decades, additional construction safety products joined the hard hat as essential gear: Gloves, safety vest, steel-toed boots.
But then, for fifty years, not much changed in the world of construction safety products. Construction, though safer than it was a hundred years ago, remained one of the most dangerous industries in the world.
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