Messy Hair, Don’t Care – safety moment

I am female. I own fancy clothes, that I rarely wear. I am most comfortable in jeans and a T-shirt. I bite my nails. I’ve only had make-up on my face 3 times in my life. I have a motorcycle license. I own a 4-wheeler. I like bugs. I like them better when they are dead. I am the epitome of a Tom-boy.

Where was I going with this? Oh, yea. My hair is medium length. Perfect for fitting under a hard hat. I always know when to get a haircut – when my ponytail won’t fit. Not that it matters. No one sees my hair anyway. By the end of the day, my hair is messy and matted. Let’s face it. The pest control industry is NOT a beauty pageant.


I am not a fan of wearing a hard hat. It’s hot, unbalanced, and heavy. When an employer made it policy, I swear, I hit my head on EVERYTHING. That bulky noggin protector was making me mad. It made my head sweat. It made my neck hurt. I had a hard time getting it adjusted. Dang ponytail!

I fully understand why safety equipment is necessary. We all have the right to go home every night …. in one piece. I have used many different types of PPE, but I will be grateful for my hard hat, more than any other. It gave me a headache, but saved my brain.


This incident happened when working in a flour mill. I had to check on some machinery. I climbed a ladder to the top of a catwalk, and I was in a hurry. Not a good thing around unguarded equipment. Everything checked out OK and I was headed back to the ladder, as I had done many times. In a hurry.

From the point of my check, I was running across the catwalk toward the ladder. The I-beams got continually lower. Duck. Missed the first one. Duck. Cleared the second. Doing the Limbo. Wham! The front of my hard hat hit at the forehead level. HARD.

I’m still not sure, I think I was knocked out for a few seconds. I opened my eyes, and I was laying flat on the catwalk with my feet hanging over the ladder. Headache from hell. My hard hat had a gash. That could have been my head. Only a red splotchy patch was on my forehead. Thankful.


I will continue to cuss at having to wear that hard hat, but I won’t quit wearing it. I will learn to appreciate my messy, hat hair.

P.S. My favorite piece of safety gear is a harness. I kind of like hanging from the top of a grain bin. That’s the Oklahoma red dirt in me.

Published by Melisa Arnold, A.C.E.

My career in pest management began while working in a flour mill as the “in-house” technician in 2008. I am certified in multiple states. I began working full time as a fumigation-pest control tech in 2010. I achieved my Associate Certified Entomologist (ACE) in 2018. I have a Master Tech certification from Kansas State University/Kansas Pest Control Association. I hold a Bat Management certification from NWCOA. Every day, I realize how much I DON’T KNOW. My goal for this blog is to share my every day experiences from the field and to make us all think outside the box for solutions to make pest control make sense.

2 thoughts on “Messy Hair, Don’t Care – safety moment

  1. I’ll never forget the time we were doing service at an account that didn’t require ppe except our vests. You walk under the big shelving unit didn’t clear it before you stood up and hit your head hard. You had a horrible headache.


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