The Influence of Hard Hat Design Features on Head Acceleration Attenuation

in Journal of Applied Biomechanics
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  • 1 University of North Florida
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This study evaluated the performance of 6 commercially available hard hat designs—differentiated by shell design, number of suspension points, and suspension tightening system—in regard to their ability to attenuate accelerations during vertical impacts to the head. Tests were conducted with impactor materials of steel, wood, and lead shot (resembling commonly seen materials in a construction site), weighing 1.8 and 3.6 kg and dropped from 1.83 m onto a Hybrid III head/neck assembly. All hard hats appreciably reduced head acceleration to the unprotected condition. However, neither the addition of extra suspension points nor variations in suspension tightening mechanism appreciably influenced performance. Therefore, these results indicate that additional features available in current hard hat designs do not improve protective capacity as related to head acceleration metrics.

Dos Santos, Schonning, and Bevill are with the Department of Engineering, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA. Sorce is with the Department of Construction Management, University of North Florida, Jacksonville, FL, USA.

Bevill (grant.bevill@unf.edu) is corresponding author.
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