Head-first into High-visibility: New hi-viz helmets

High visibility clothing has come a long way since the turn of the millennium, but we haven’t seen a lot of major changes since 2010. However, a new type of high-visibility tape may become a game changer, one that will have us spotting our co-workers from miles away.

Scott Safety has been in the R&D phase of implementing an electronic neon tape on their safety helmets, which may be available on the market by the end of the year.

David Starbuck said there’s been a lot of research that’s gone into finding the most visible colour, which happens to be blue.

“We’re always keen to develop new accessories for our safety helmets: customisation and adding value to the helmets is huge business for us,” Starbuck said.

“We already have high-viz tapes that go on our helmets, but they require artificial light.”

The tape is able to take an electric current which causes it to light up in bright neon blue, charged by a 30g battery pack on that back of the helmet.

The tape is also able to flash and strobe for higher visibility settings.

The tape is manufactured by EL Australia, who have been fitting the tape to safety vests and motorcycle helmets, and now Scott is bringing it to industrial uses.

“We wanted it to be as low profile as possible, and we were also very cautious to ensure that the weight on the helmet would be limited,” Starbuck said.

“We frequently add a lot of accessories to our helmets, whether face shields or hearing protection, and they would weigh more than the battery pack.

It enables high-visibility for people who are working in dark areas where there is little light, underneath loading docks, roadworks at night, and general nightshift work done outdoors, where traditional reflective tape would be of little assistance without artificial light sources.

Starbuck showed off the prototype helmet at the Queensland Mining Expo in July, adding that development has since been ongoing.

“We’ve now developed it to be wider and brighter,” he said.

“We’re at the point where we’re nearly ready to present the finished product. For people who really see a need for it right now we can start to release some units, all we have to do is complete the branding, and although there will be some early sales to specific customers, the new high-viz helmet will be ready for the shelves by November.”

The rechargeable lithium-ion battery pack life is around 10-11.5 hours, or 20 hours on strobe function, and the pack is waterproof.

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