Journalism

A short History Of Safety Helmet

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The safety helmets have a long history, dating back to ancient times. When primitives hunted wild animals and fought, they used fibrous materials such as coconut shells, armadillo shells, and large turtle shells to protect their heads.

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With the development of metallurgical technology and the spread of war, metal helmets appeared. Anyang Yinxu in China unearthed the Shang Dynasty bronze helmets with animal face patterns on the front, ear coverings on the left and right, and neck protection on the back. It has a history of more than 3,000 years, and it is more than two thousand years ahead of the earliest Greek helmet in Europe.

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Modern helmets also appeared in response to the needs of war. During World War I, a French soldier put an iron pot on his head during a German raid, and then he escaped. Later, this event was learned by a general named Adrian. Under his proposal, a metal helmet capable of bulletproof was developed. This helmet is made of Hard non-steel, so it is also called a steel helmet. Although the helmet at that time only had a metal shell and liner, it was the prototype of a modern helmet. But before that, someone had invented the first civilian safety helmet.

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Things in the world, like the clouds in the sky, have no rules to follow, and no one would think that the inventor of the world's first civilian helmet was Kafka. Yes, you don’t have to rub your eyes and read right, it ’s the Kafka who wrote <<The Metamorphosis>>

In 1908, Kafka worked in an industrial injury insurance agency. One of his job responsibilities was to investigate and determine the corresponding compensation for workers who had personal injuries in accidents. He saw too many injured people there and was often encountering workers who cut their limbs and smashed their heads with falling objects. Kafka deeply sympathizes with the hard-working workers who earn their livelihood, but all he can do is to win more compensation for them.


Kafka usually leaves work at 2:00 pm, during this time he will spend on literary creation. He went to a square and relax sometimes when he lost in a bottleneck of his creation.

Kafka looked at the crowds in the square, and the flying and landing pigeons, but his thoughts were tangled in the plot of a novel being planned. Suddenly, Kafka saw several people wearing raincoats moving under the loft.

"It's not raining, why are you wearing raincoats?" Kafka Asked

"Because pigeon droppings will fall at any time." The workers explained.

This reminded him of the workers on the construction site. They can't predict when there will be a falling object. Why not take precautions? He remembered that the helmets used by ancient warriors for protection during battles could also be worn on workers' heads for protection. So he used the helmet as a prototype and found someone to make a civilian helmet.

Kafka was also a gold medalist at the American Security Conference in 1912, and the government recognized his contribution to workers’ safety and compensation. It is said that because of his hard hat, the number of deaths from accidents in the steel mill for the first time fell below 25 per thousand.

Most of the original civilian safety helmets were just a shell, and at most some fabrics were used as inner linings. There was still a big gap from modern helmets.

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Over time, the safety helmet has evolved from the simple model in the past to a PPE(personal protective equipment).

the hard hat is a protective article that prevents the head from hurting. It is composed of a cap shell, cap liner, lower cheek band, and rear hoop. The cap shell is hemispherical, strong, smooth and has a certain elasticity. The impact and kinetic energy of the puncture are mainly borne by the cap shell. There is a certain space between the cap shell and the cap liner, which can buffer and disperse the instantaneous impact force, thereby avoiding or reducing direct damage to the head. Impact absorption performance, puncture resistance, lateral rigidity, electrical insulation, and flame retardancy are the basic technical performance requirements for safety helmets.




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