Since the invention of the hard hat in 1919, little has happened to improve the safety performance of head protection, until now. Meet Pacific Northwest-based Studson. Founded in 2019, Studson’s core team consists of a dynamic trio that wields vast knowledge of the industrial design of head protection. The mission of Studson is to save lives and reduce the severity of accidents in the construction industry by combining the most innovative and advanced materials with progressive design to deliver the safest and most functional head protection possible. This means the cutting-edge technology of Studson helmets delivers performance and maximum comfort.
According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, the construction industry has the greatest number of fatal and nonfatal traumatic brain injuries among United States workplaces. In 2020, 4,764 fatal work injuries occurred in the United States, according to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics. A worker died every 111 minutes from a work-related injury. Workers in transportation and material moving occupations, construction, and extraction occupations accounted for nearly half of all fatal occupational injuries (47.4%), representing 1,282 and 976 workplace deaths, respectively. Many of these accidents are traumatic brain injuries.
You can easily wear Studson helmets for eight hours using a typical harness system. Breathability, superior engineering to manage top, sides, and rear impacts, and brim technology providing sun and rain deflection are also part of the helmet package. In addition, the attractive helmets comply with OSHA requirements and are accessory ready.
“There really is no other company that has put these technology components into a helmet,” says Ryan Barnes, co-founder and chief executive officer at Studson. A competitive skier, Barnes’s passion for making life-saving helmets originates from a head injury he suffered while skiing at when he was 16 years old. He went headfirst into a tree at 40 mph, sans helmet. He has years of experience in the snow and outdoor industry and brings a wealth of knowledge to Studson. “No two head injuries are the same, and Studson takes into account the variety of ways a person could get injured, ” he adds.
The Studson difference Barnes and his team deliver includes Koroyd panels in critical impact zones. Koroyd absorbs energy thanks to its tubular makeup, which is lightweight and breathable. The strategic placement of these panels means superior performance for you during head impacts. A Near-Field Communication chip (twICEme) is integrated into the helmets to store your emergency contacts and vital health information. Shield-X, incorporated into the comfort liner, is a silicone shearing pad system that performs 8 to 15% better during oblique impacts. Shield-X performance mitigates trauma to the brain and spinal cord in angled impacts.
“We are passionate about what we do,” says Barnes. “We are a unique niche company very focused on innovation and technology to save lives and give workers something comfortable and breathable. I truly believe we are helping to pioneer a change that will inevitably be the end of the hard hat.”
There are numerous ways brain injury accidents happen. Examples include falling 25 feet to the ground from a roof, being struck in the head by a steel beam at a jobsite or getting hit by a vehicle moving supplies. Other hazards include fatigue, heat exhaustion, or dehydration, which lead to mistakes and accidents. “Jobsites are always changing and, just because of all the phases, there are always hazards,” explains Barnes. “There are lots of fall-related accidents.”
Will Goldsmith, a construction industry professional, suffered a traumatic brain injury eight years ago falling backward over a concrete barrier on a jobsite. The back of his head hit the pavement hard. He was backing away from a crane lifting a 60-by-12-foot container and did not see the Jersey barrier. The fall caught him by surprise. “It was an unprotected fall, so I just went straight back like a tetter-totter because I didn’t realize I was falling,” explains Goldsmith. “It was the loudest sound I had ever heard in my entire life.”
Goldsmith’s traumatic brain injury created a long journey in rehabilitation and recovery. His neurologist told him he would never be precisely how he was before the fall. “If I had the right head protection on, I would be my old self today,” reflects Goldsmith. “But I’m not the same person now. The brain injury kills the pathways of the nerves, so you have to re-learn or re-develop a new pathway: it’s not the way you processed thought before.”
Goldsmith says he feels lucky to be alive. But he still deals with injury effects. “Having the right helmet on your head can save you from going through a lot of troublesome times,” emphasizes Goldsmith. “I wear a Studson helmet every day now and have two or three of them in my office.”
Put your hands on your head for a moment. How important is it to you to protect it? Construction and industrial workers understand how vital head protection is. And anyone who enjoys snow sports, cycling or gravity sports have head hazards too. But do you have the proper headgear? To learn more, check out the Studson website.