The hard hat has been a staple in the industry since 1919 and is one of the most recognized pieces in worker safety.

When OSHA was formed in 1970 hard hats became mandatory. Worksite deaths went from 15,000 in 1970 to 5,200 in 2016; helping to prove the effectiveness and jobsite necessity of hard hats (OHS Online). Despite the positive results of substantially lowering worksite deaths and over 6 million hart hats sold annually we’re still experiencing more than 18,000 traumatic brain injuries each year. You see, a classic hard hat protects you from objects falling from above and electrical conductors from contacting your head. Below you can see the progression of the hard hat from 1919 to now. Although the design and safety features have improved, they’ve always lacked protection from rotational accidents, until now!
New to the industry is the MIPS Safety Helmet.

Hard Hat Progressions

Are you new to the industry or new to wearing a hard hat? A Hard Hat Explained goes into more detail about the basic hard hat; they’re important and how they function. This blog post is a quick read to better understand their importance to your safety.

Direct Impacts vs. Angled Impacts

First, you should know the difference between a direct (linear) and angled (rotational) impact to understand the Mips safety helmet. A direct impact is kind of as it sounds; it’s a direct hit to the top or side of your head. It’s a perfectly aligned impact where there is little to no rotational force that occurs on your brain. This is great except when objects come flying at you with no courtesy of perfectly aligning into a straight impact.

As a result, it’s more commonly found that worksite head impacts are angled, this is a rapid rotational force against your brain. This rotational force makes your brain do a 90’s club dance twisting and pulling in multiple directions. Consequently, in the case of your brain dancing, dancing = BAD! These movements and rotations can cause tearing of nerve fibers, a side effect known scientifically as brain shear (Aka: brain dancing in MC lingo). Even though falling/swinging objects are a big part of jobsite accidents, falls are actually the most common worksite accident. Furthermore, falls are more likely to result in an angled impact resulting in a TBI (traumatic brain injury).

Don’t be a statistic, read up on fall protection and get yourself a MIPS safety helmet
(more about MIPS hard hats coming up).


What’s A MIPS Hard Hat Anyway?

In short, a MIPS safety helmet is built with a low-friction layer inside the hard hat that allows for multi-directional movement. The helmet is designed to allow for 10-15mm on certain angled impacts to your head. This system was designed with the intent to reduce rotational force to the head.

Let’s get into more detail. In 1996, Swedish neurosurgeon Hans von Holst began researching the relationship between brain injuries and helmet construction. When he realized helmets were inadequately protecting against rotational impacts, von Holst partnered with researcher Peter Halldin to engineer a solution. Below is a short video explaining Mips in construction helmets:

The result, MIPS Safety Helmet

As a result of their efforts, they created a multi-directional impact protection system now known more simply as Mips. This technology is built around the discovery that relative motion between low friction layers reduces the effect of rotational force. By integrating a sliding layer into helmets, von Holst and Halldin found a way to redirect the force of rotational impacts that would otherwise be transferred to the head.

To test effectiveness, the Mips helmet test lab includes four testing machines designed to mimic your real-world impact scenarios. Of the many comprehensive and helmet-specific tests conducted in the lab, Mips has found a vertical drop onto an angled surface to be the most simple and robust method for determining the reduction of rotational force.

Initially, their focus was to improve helmet safety for recreational activities such as biking and skiing. Now Mips is expanding into more industries, including ours! Mips saw the safety gap missing in the classic hard hat and made collaborations to improve safety for industrial workers. They are moving into the industrial industry, can we get a “heck yeah”! One collaboration is the Skullerz Safety Helmet from Minnesota-based Ergodyne; local and simply great they are one of our favorites.

Unlike traditional hard hats, the Skullerz MIPS Safety Helmet has the Elevate Safety System integrated directly into the suspension to protect you from overlooked angled impacts.

Think the MIPS safety helmet is just for tower climbers, arborists, and workers of heights? Think again.

More enhanced impact protection provided by the safety helmet’s compact shell has them trending as an alternative to hard hats. Due to the added protection, Mips safety helmets are being used in industrial worksites including construction, electrical & contractors. Remember, the Mips safety helmet doesn’t just protect you if you fall. It also protects you from falling objects with an angled impact or a moving steel bar.

In conclusion, check out the new Mips Safety Helmet. Ensure you and your crew all go home safely tonight to the family!

Ergodyne Skullerz MIPS Helmet Info



To get everyone home safe, give us a call now at 763-786-5350, or toll-free at 888-206-2569.