Chris Tidy, Technical and Training Specialist, at Centurion Safety Products reveals the latest technology in head protection.
Archaeological evidence shows that head protection – in one form or another – has been around since before 2,500BC. It was likely invented to protect the wearer in battle and archaeologists have found evidence of helmets made from a huge variety of materials including copper, leather and even boar tusks. The hard hat is not, then, a new concept by any means – although I have a feeling today’s helmets are rather more effective – but that doesn’t mean those of us in the industry are happy to rest on our laurels and accept that the modern hard hat represents the ultimate solution to traumatic brain injuries.
Industry standards ensure that safety helmets are capable of providing good absorption of linear impact, something that is proven through the EN397 test which sees a linear force directed onto a helmet from height. In most instances, the helmet remains intact, thereby proving its effectiveness.
However, the assumption that the biggest risk to our heads comes from falling objects is a common misconception. In actuality, the most common type of accident to occur on-site is a slip, trip or fall, which is much more likely to cause a rotational injury.
A rotational brain injury comes as the result of a rapid change of the rotational velocity of
the head. This rapid change can be caused by a direct hit to the helmet or skull, or by an indirect hit to the shoulder leading to a rotational motion of the head and forcing a twist or sheering of the brain within the skull.
Preventing rotational injury
This is where the Mips Elevate cradle solution comes in. Swedish-based helmet safety technology company, Mips, has spent the last 25 years researching and developing its low-friction Multi-directional Impact Protection System technology, which is designed to allow the head 10-15 mm relative motion in all directions inside the helmet. This can redirect harmful rotational motion that would otherwise be transferred to the head, potentially causing traumatic brain injury.
This safety technology is already relatively commonplace in the sports market but until now, has not been seen in an industrial safety helmet. The newly designed Mips Elevate cradle solution has made this a reality.
Layers of protection
Ensuring maximum protection for the wearer has always been our top priority, and we’re constantly striving to find ways to go above and beyond conforming to industry standards. Our latest product, the Nexus Extreme Mips, is the first industrial safety helmet to offer a four-layer protection system, incorporating a pure-grade ABS shell, an EPS liner, a cradle, and, finally, the Mips Elevate Multi-directional Impact Protection System. By introducing this patented low-friction layer to the cradle, we can reduce rotational motion transferred to the brain from angled impacts to the head.
The risks associated with injuries caused by rotational impact need to be more widely understood across the safety market, and it’s exciting to be at the forefront of bringing that message to industry.
If you would like to find out more about Centurion Safety Products visit https://centurionsafety.eu/nexus-extreme-mips/