Safety standards explained
All riding helmet manufacturers have to produce helmets to meet one of three international safety standards or marks – the PAS015:2011, the EN1384:2012/BSEN1384:2012 and ASTM F1163:04a – some may even produce helmets to meet all of them. As each standard tests for a different set of accident situations, helmets that meet multiple standards provide the most comprehensive protection and cover a wider range of potential accident situations.
When determining helmet safety and assessing if a helmet passes a particular standard, each of the individual standards have their own criteria and tests, putting more or less emphasis on different helmets and various types of injuries. For example, they’ll assess how much of the head a helmet covers, how a rider falls and onto what type of surface, how a helmet moves and how much an injury riders can expect to receive from their fall.
Some standards look closely at preventing the most severe types of head injuries a rider may experience, others protect from the more commonplace. As no one can obviously predict what type of accident or fall a rider may experience – be it on concrete, grass or in an arena, whether they are kicked when they fall, whether the horse is wearing studs/caulks, or if a horse falls on them, causing a crush injury – a helmet that meets multiple standards has proven protection in more types of accident.