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Safety performance testing of climbing helmet-mounted cameras
  1. Philip S Martin1,
  2. Vincent J StClair1,
  3. Claire Willis1,
  4. Alastair C Rickman2,
  5. David Hynd1
  1. 1Engineering & Assurance Division, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Wokingham, UK
  2. 2BBC Operations, BBC Birmingham Mailbox, Birmingham, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Philip S Martin, Engineering & Assurance Division, Transport Research Laboratory (TRL), Crowthorne House, Nine Mile Ride, Wokingham RG40 3GA, UK; pmartin{at}trl.co.uk

Abstract

Background No research establishing the effects of climbing helmet-mounted cameras on head injury biomechanics.

Objective Establish the potential effects of climbing helmet-mounted cameras on the injury risks associated with falling object strikes and falls onto flat and angled surfaces.

Methods Three experimental studies were developed via the adaptation of European helmet testing standards and regulations. Study 1 performed falling striker tests to the helmet, Study 2 performed linear headform drop tests onto a flat anvil and Study 3 performed oblique headform drop tests onto an anvil angled 15° from vertical. Three helmet categories (hard-shell, foam and hybrid) were impacted at three locations (vertex, front and side), using five camera mounting combinations and three control helmets. Data was collected for the forces, linear accelerations, rotational velocities and rotational accelerations experienced by the headform.

Results All helmet and camera combinations investigated by this project complied with current legislative performance criteria, while no combination exceeded published injury thresholds. No increase in head injury risk was observed for the forces transferred to the head during falling object strikes or with the linear accelerations experienced during falls onto flat and angled surfaces. Finally, although greater rotational head velocities and accelerations were observed with falls onto flat and angled surfaces, no injury threshold was exceeded by any investigated helmet and camera combination.

Conclusions All helmet and camera combinations investigated by this project complied with current legislative performance criteria, while no combination exceeded published injury thresholds. Further research may be required to establish the effects of additional impact mechanism, helmet or camera mounting configurations.

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