The basic design of hard hats has not changed in over 50 years. But now, WaveCel is using technology developed for the sports industry that it says will better protect construction workers from traumatic brain injuries.
The WaveCel T2 + Pro and T2 + Max hard hats use a liner made from a collapsible material that absorbs energy from a head impact. Hundreds of interconnected shock absorbers crumple, flex and glide to protect the skull from all angles, according to WaveCel.
Hard hats were originally designed to protect against skull fractures occurring from objects falling from above, but do not take into account the rotational force and impact from slips and falls, which are much more common and can carry a greater risk, the company says.
First released in Trek cycling helmets and Burton ski and snowboard helmets, WaveCel says the technology has been proven to absorb up to 73% more rotational force caused from a blow to the head and can reduce the predicted risk of a concussion by up to 98%.
OSHA requires hard hats on the job when there is possible danger for head injury. The WaveCel T2+ Pro is a non-vented hard hat. The WaveCel T2+ Max is a vented option for those looking for increased air flow for all-day wear.
Both models are Type II certified according to standard ANSI Z87.1 (USA) and also go one step further to protect against rotational forces as well as lateral impacts, the company says.
WaveCelKey features include:
- Low profile: The dome is approximately 1- inch lower than a standard hard hat. WaveCel says its liner eliminates the need for a tall air space at the crown that traditional hard hats need to absorb impacts.
- 360-degree protection: The WaveCel dome lines the entire shell, crown and sides for Type II-level protection from lateral and crown impacts. Both models are designed with a full brim for more protection from all sides.
- Lightweight: The WaveCel hard hats weigh less than 500 grams each.
- Breathable: WaveCel impact foams are porous, allowing air to circulate through 93% of the dome, the company says.
- Comfort liner: The WaveCel dome and headband are lined with a soft foam and moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial microfiber.
- Accessories: The hard hats feature rails and slots that universally integrate third-party accessories such as headlamps, face shields, earmuffs and pen holders.
- Chin strap: The optional four-point chin strap is made of soft nylon fabric and has a magnetic buckle that locks and releases with a single-handed “snap” motion.
- 360 Fit System: The system adjusts to all sizes with an oversized dial that is easy to grip with gloves.
- Customizable: The hard hats can be customized with graphics on the front or side and are available in three standard colors – white, black and blue – as well as high-visibility yellow or orange.
“You only get one brain, and even one injury to the head is one too many,” says Dr. Steve Madey, WaveCel co-founder and orthopedic surgeon. “The reality is that accidents happen, and the physical ramifications of a head injury can be long-lasting and debilitating.”
The hard hats will be available for purchase on WaveCel.com and at launch from TPR Industrial. WaveCel products will begin shipping between the second and third quarter of 2022 with prices ranging from $169 to $189.