Have you ever mounted a camera (e.g. GoPro) to your helmet and wondered if it was safe to do so?

During the summer of 2015, BBC Safety commissioned the Transport Research Laboratory (TRL) to investigate the potential effects that mounting a camera may have on the safety performance of helmets. A range of commonly used climbing helmet types were tested (hardshell, hybrid and EPS foam). The cameras were mounted at the front, side and top of these helmets using either sticky mounts or straps. The testing protocol was principally based on that in BS EN12492:2012 (the safety standard which all climbing helmets are required to meet to enable their sale within the EU), BS EN1078:2012 (the equivalent safety standard for helmets sold to cyclists and skateboarders) and EU Regulation 22.05 (the equivalent safety standard for motorcycle helmets). These standards helped define a protocol for measuring energy transference to the ‘head’ during standardised impact challenges and set the level above which the helmet would be considered to have failed the test. Further injury thresholds, defining a >50% chance of either a fracture to the skull or loss of consciousness for less than 1hr, were also identified from scientific literature to provide further comparison.

The results of this project indicated that all climbing helmet-mounted camera configurations investigated by this project may be mounted to all three helmet models, and at all three impact locations, without increasing the risks of head injury beyond current legislative performance requirements or published injury thresholds. It must be noted, however, that these results are valid only for the impact configurations investigated by this project and that variables of helmet fit, size, weight, the angle of impact and the energy of an object strike or fall can all affect the end result. TRL recommend that further testing should always be performed to establish the effects of any helmet-mounted aftermarket products that do not correspond with those already evaluated in this project and advise that activity-specific risk assessments are always performed.

Want to know more about this project?