Over the years, when I have had occasion to come up to the main gate of any of the mines on the Iron Range, I always like to see the sign informing everyone of how many days it has been since an accident occurred at that mine. How nice it is to see a large number! That large number didn’t just happen by chance, of course. It is the result of many decades of people figuring out what will make this workplace safer and people following the rules.

Hardhats, or helmets, are a regular part of life when working at the mines. Those helmets have evolved through the years to add more comfort and greater protection. But there are other items which are a necessary part of an employee’s life. Two of those items and their evolution will be discussed in this article.

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