OEM101#2 Helmet Standards
EN1078-THE EUROPEAN CYCLING STANDARD
Created in 1997, the EN-1078 standard was eventually approved (in 2012) by the European Committee for Standardization (or “CEN”) for all cycling, skateboarding and roller skating helmets sold in the following thirty-two nations, including Austria, Belgium, Bulgaria, Croatia, Cyprus, Czech Republic, Denmark, Estonia, Finland, France, Germany, Greece, Hungary, Iceland, Ireland, Italy, Latvia, Lithuania, Luxembourg, Malta, the Netherlands, Norway, Poland, Portugal, Romania, Slovakia, Slovenia, Spain, Sweden, Switzerland, Turkey or the United Kingdom.
In other words, EN-1078 is a commonly recognized standard.
A DIFFERENT PERSPECTIVE.
EN-1078 has a lower maximum G threshold than the CPSC, Snell B-95 or ASTM F1952 cycling helmet standards. In other words, helmets that transmit more than 250 G’s to the headform during impact testing fails EN-1078. The other standards mentioned above allow for up to 300 G’s.
Lower G’s equal more protection, right? All things being equal, yes.
But all things aren’t equal because testing standards differ. To be specific, EN-1078 requires four hits per helmet, but those impacts are not as powerful. Furthermore, EN-1078 only requires impact tests on two of the three anvils demanded by the other standards: There’s no hemi anvil impact test here.
Comparing impact energy across various standards can be a challenge since some standards call for impact testing with a single headform weighing 5 kilograms and other standards, including EN-1078, require testing with several headforms of various weights (in this case, 3.1 to 6.1 kilograms).
We can achieve a more “apples to apples” comparison of impact energies by holding headform weight constant at 5 kilograms and comparing the energy created at that weight, per a given standard’s drop-height requirements. In this case, that would mean EN-1078 impact energies are 73.5 Joules on the flat anvil and 53.9 Joules on the curbstone anvil—that’s about 25 joules less per impact on the flat anvil than required by the CPSC, Snell and ASTM standards.
Finally, the EN-1078 standard features lower test lines, meaning more of the helmet is required to withstand impact testing.
BUT DOES IT PROVIDE LESS PROTECTION?
Some observers suggest that EN-1078 doesn’t offer as much protection to consumers because the testing isn’t as demanding. On its face, the argument seems logical, but it’s also worth noting that the actual incidence of brain trauma following cycling accidents does not appear to be higher in countries where EN-1078 is the law of the land. In the world outside the test lab, the EN-1078 standard doesn’t appear to be lacking.
As with the United States’ CPSC standard, helmet brands are responsible for certifying that their helmets meet the EN-1078 standards. They can either self-certify or pay a third-party laboratory to provide testing and record keeping.
CLICK TO VIEW POK TYRONE LTD BICYCLE HELMET CE EN1078 TEST REPORT
CPSC / (CONSUMER PRODUCT SAFETY COMMISSION)
REQUIRED BY U.S. LAW
Since March 10th of 1999, all bicycle helmets sold in the United States have been required to pass the CPSC helmet standard. Prior to that point, several popular helmet standards (ANSI, ASTM and Snell) floated about, each with substantially different testing regimens. In the United States, helmet manufacturers could choose to meet any, all, or none of those standards
ALL OF THIS PROVED CONFUSING TO CONSUMERS.
Congress passed legislation in 1994 (the Children’s Bicycle Helmet Safety Act), calling for all cycling helmets to meet a single, national standard. Other cycling helmet standards still exist, but now U.S. consumers are guaranteed a common performance threshold with any bike helmet purchased in the United States.
The CPSC standard is largely based on the pre-existing ASTM 1447 standard (originally published in 1993). The primary difference between these two standards is that CPSC is mandatory, whereas ASTM 1447 had been voluntary.
A MODERN ADAPTATION.
The CPSC standard strikes a common ground in bicycle helmet standards—it’s more demanding than the other most common standard (EN-1078), but somewhat less demanding than the Snell B-95 standard.
CPSC subjects helmets to higher energy hits than EN 1078 (and more of them) from greater heights on both the flat and curbstone anvils. Those impacts are also spaced more closely together than called for by EN 1078. What’s more, the CPSC standard requires that passing helmets withstand the hemi anvil test—EN 1078 does not.
On the other hand, CPSC is slightly less demanding than the Snell 95 standard, which exposes helmets to greater impact energies and requires a lower test line than the CPSC standard, thus emphasizing protection over a greater portion of the helmet. Not surprisingly, the CPSC standard is also less demanding than the ASTM F 1952 downhill mountain biking helmet standard, which is similar in many respects, but calls for greater impact energies and, if a chinbar is present, a chin bar deflection test.
While all helmets sold in the United States must meet this government standard, government agencies don’t actually test these helmets as part of the certification process. Instead, brands must submit eight helmets of any given model to a “reasonable testing program”. Testing can be conducted by either the helmet manufacturer or a third-party testing facility that strictly adheres to the to the CPSC standard test protocols. It’s been called, by some critics, certification via “the honor system”.
Per the CPSC standard, records of the test results must be kept on file for at least three years and made available to the Consumer Products Safety Commission within 48 hours of a request for verification. Violations of the standard can result in “recall, injunctions, seizure of the product, and civil or criminal penalties.”
AS/NZS 1698:2006 This Joint Australian/New Zealand Standard was prepared by Joint Technical Committee CS-076, Protective Helmets for Vehicle Users. It was approved on behalf of the Council of Standards Australia on 24 January 2006 and on behalf of the Council of Standards New Zealand on 3 February 2006.
This Standard was published on 20 February 2006.
The following are represented on Committee CS-076:
Association of Accredited certification bodies
Australian Competition and Consumer Commission
CAMS (Confederation of Aust. Motor Sports)
Centre for Automotive safety research
Consumer's Federation of Australian
Federal Chamber of Automotive Industries
Helmet Supplier Interests
IEA National Panel-Biomechanics of Injury
Land Transport Safety Authority New Zealand
Motorcycle Council of NSW
Motorcycle Riders Association
Motor Traders Association of Australia
New Zealand Employers and Manufactures Association
New Zealand Helmet Testing Interests
Office of Fair Trading NSW Consumer Protection Agency
Roads and Traffic Authority of NSW
Royal Australian College of Surgeons
University of New South Wales
Keeping Standards up-to-date
Standards are living documents which reflect progress in science, technology and systems. To maintain their currency, all Standards are periodically reviewed, and new editions are published. Between editions, amendments may be issued. Standards may also be withdrawn. It is important that readers assure themselves they are using a current Standard, which should include any amendments which may have been published since the Standard was purchased. Detailed information about joint Australian/New Zealand Standards can be found by visiting the Standards.
This Standard was prepared by the Joint Standards Australia/Standards New Zealand Committee CS-076, Protective Helmets for Vehicle Users, to supersede AS 1698—1988/ NZS 5430:1992, Protective helmets for vehicle users, and NZS 1215:1969, Specification for protective helmets for motor cyclists.
This Standard incorporates Amendment No. 1 (September 2007) and Amendment No. 2 (May 2009). The changes required by the Amendment are indicated in the text by a marginal bar and amendment number against the clause, note, affected.
The Committee has made a number of significant changes in this edition.
The principal changes include the following:
(a) Removal of the requirement for a shell with a hard outer surface (Clause 5.1).
(b) Modification of the requirements for internal projections (Clause 5.3).
(c) Addition of a requirement for ventilation (Clause 5.7).
(d) Increase in the minimum number of helmets to be supplied for testing from four to six (Clause 6.1).
(e) Addition to the test requirements providing a test sequence (Clause 7.1).
(f) Addition of a dynamic test for helmet stability (Clause 7.3).
(g) Specification of minimum letter sizes for marking and instructions for use and care (Clauses 8 and 9).
(h) Revision of the marking requirements regarding a helmet which experiences a severe blow (Clause 8(f)(v)).
(i) Addition to the marking requirements that visors attached to the helmet meet the requirements of AS 1609 (Clause 8(f)
(j) Addition to the instructions for use and care requirements.
(k) That visors attached to the helmet meet the requirements of AS 1609.
(l) That the suitability of communications devices be specified (Clause 9(e)).
(m) Revision and amplification of the warning requirements with regard to painting and solvents (Clause 9).
(n) Lowering of the test line following from the revision of AS 2512.1.
The Committee is considering the addition of requirements for an oblique impact test for external projections and tests for chin guards.
The term ‘informative’ has been used in this Standard to define the application of the appendix to which it applies.
The primary purpose of this Standard is to provide a specification for protective helmets for motor cyclists and users of other motor vehicles. The Standard also provides a basis for helmets used in motor sports where speed is a determining factor. Helmets designed specially for motor sports may include features, including extra strength, which are not mandatory in this Standard but which are desirable for certain activities. It is not expected that these features will conflict with the requirements of this Standard. Extra features are likely to increase the mass or bulk of the helmet, and the Committee considers that this Standard should not impose these disadvantages at this time.
STANDARDS AUSTRALIA/STANDARDS NEW ZEALAND
Australian/New Zealand Standard Protective helmets for vehicle users
This Standard specifies requirements for protective headgear for vehicle users, designed to mitigate the adverse effect of a blow to the head. The Standard is written with particular reference to motor cyclists, but is also applicable to users of other types of motor vehicles. Marking requirements and instructions for use and care are also included.
The objective of this Standard is to provide motor cyclists and racing car drivers with helmets that provide protection against, and minimize the severity of, head injury from hazards associated with motor cycle riding or motor vehicle racing.
3 REFERENCED DOCUMENTS
The following documents are referred to in this Standard:
AS 1609 Eye protectors for motor cyclists and racing car drivers
AS/NZS 2512 Methods of testing protective helmets
2512.1 Method 1: Definitions and headforms
2512.2 Method 2: General requirements for the conditioning and preparation of test specimens and laboratory conditions
2512.3.1 Method 3.1: Determination of impact energy attenuation—Helmet drop test
2512.4 Method 4: Determination of penetration resistance
2512.5.1 Method 5.1: Determination of strength of retention system—Static strength
2512.6 Method 6: Measurement of horizontal peripheral vision clearance 2512.7.2
Method 7.2: Determination of stability of protective helmets—Dynamic stability
BS 6658 Protective helmets for vehicle users
For the purpose of this Standard, the definitions given in AS/NZS 2512.1 shall apply.
The helmet shall be capable of—
(a) resisting penetration;
(b) absorbing impact energy; and
(c) being retained on the head. Components of the helmet and any devices attached to the helmet shall be such that they are unlikely to cause injury to the wearer in the event of an accident.