Safety at height specialist heightec have launched the DUON – the first and only safety helmet meeting all of the technical requirements for working at height and in confined areas. International standards specify different requirements for helmets used in each type of situation. Helmets used for fall protection must remain attached in a fall – helmets used in confined situations must be removable without needing to be unfastened by hand. DUON fulfils this requirement with a simple to use mechanism built directly into the chinstrap.
heightec believe the DUON is the only helmet that allows wearers to be fully compliant in complex environments containing different, changing hazards. It can be adjusted easily with one hand, has integrated headlamp fittings and is compatible with visors and hearing protection.
Having developed a potential solution to dual compliance, heightec approached Renfrew Group International to design their new helmet and provided a comprehensive brief to develop a product that could satisfy the disparate needs of the industry. The brief called for a technically superior product with controllable protection and instant adjustment. The resulting design is the first helmet to have configurable buckle strengths and settings for variable ventilation. We worked closely with the inhouse team to develop a lightweight design capable of achieving all the relevant test standards, but which was also easy to adjust and cool to wear. heightec products are aimed at a demanding, professional market in which the user’s activities are allied to those of extreme sportsmen and women.
Our previous experience in designing safety helmets meant that we were able to call on a database of human factors which really helped inform the project – Safety and comfort are inextricably linked and in order for a product to be accepted and subsequently recommended to others it has to be supremely comfortable. We used head ergonomic data and accumulated experience to help design the most efficient cradle in terms of fit and comfort, whilst ensuring that only the minimum of tooling was needed to provide a robust manufacturing solution. This efficiency of purpose extended to the air vents, cradle attachment and chin-strap design. DUON is now one of the lightest products on the market to provide such a breadth of protection.
The switchable strap buckle solution was well received by heightec and involved the addition of just a single extra part to achieve the alternative release-under-load performance. This mechanism is now the subject of a patent application.
Throughout the project our work was subject to rigorous checking and testing using 3D printing and part fabrication.
Performance – EN397 (“industrial”) weak chinstrap to prevent possible injury if the helmet becomes trapped. Small vents (no vents in Duon MH01) prevent item such as sparks hitting the wearer.
EN12492 (“mountaineering”) strong chinstrap so the helmet stays in place in a fall. Large vents to enable air to circulate.
Duon helmets have a unique chinstrap buckle which can be switched between ‘strong’ and ‘weak’ to give comformity with either standard.
The vents in the Duon Air can also be switched to give conformity with either standard. All switching is carried out without tools.
Comfort – Primary adjustment by ratchet wheel, can be operated with one hand even whilst being worn.
Secondary adjustment to small/medium/large helps keep the helmet centred on the head.
Headband height adjustment allows user to maintain field of view.
6 point head cradle for stability.