Military technology used in the car industry is being used to make a next generation tougher hard hat that offers better head protection.
Highways group A-one+ is trialling the new-style hard hats that also contain photo-luminescent strips to absorb UV light during the day and glow at night.
The new-look design is similar to that used by mountaineers and offers far better side and back of head protection than standard designs.
The modified helmets developed by British company Future Safety are also fitted with polycarbonate side plates, the material used in car bumpers, to provide protection to the side of the head and the ears.
A-one+ decided to improve head protection for its engineers and operational staff after analysing records of slips, trips and falls on the network.
This showed that traditional helmets left the sides and the back of the head vulnerable in case of impact, especially as it could easily fall off.
Clive Leadbetter, Managing Director, A-one+ said: “This helmet is an industry game-changer.
“Acting on slips and trips that resulted in head injuries, we quickly realised that although protective equipment is always the last resort, standard construction hats were not affording the level of protection that we need in the highway maintenance sector.
“Our biggest risks are the potential for harm working within close proximity to live traffic and on hard surfaces.
“We have seen huge leaps forward in head protection for the leisure industry but nothing in reality has moved within the construction engineering environment. This helmet gives our people enhanced protection and is a more secure and stable fit.”
He said that the helmet has a high density outer shell which absorbs energy without transferring it to the wearer, linked to an expanded polystyrene liner for additional protection.
The Manta SAR helmet also has been fitted with built in drop down visor to provide extra face protection for A-one+ workers.