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Medical Problems of Wearing a Coalminer's Safety Helmet
  1. R. H. P. Fernandez
  1. East Midlands Division, National Coal Board


    A survey of 324 men, who voluntarily reported an injury to that part of the head normally covered by a miner's safety helmet, took place at 18 collieries (16,732 men) during the period March 31 to September 30, 1962.

    The most prevalent site for injury was the top of the head in surface workers, and the forehead in underground workers. Normally surface workers do not wear a helmet. Underground workers expose their forehead when they wear their safety helmets in an upwards-tilted position. One reason for this practice is that the helmet has become too small due to shrinkage of the sweat-dampened leather headband which occurs after the helmet has been left for some time in the hot pit-head bath lockers.

    A helmet which had a wide, unshrinkable, easily adjustable headband made of smooth material was worn by 31 men who had dermatitis or soreness of that part of the skin normally covered by a safety helmet. After six months 26 of these men had no signs or symptoms, confirming that the main cause of helmet dermatitis is friction. A direct relationship between skin rash and sweating was observed in only four of these men.

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