Hard Hats of the Future

We are in a new era of construction safety – and Clayco is leading the way! 

Clayco is always safety FIRST. Our team is proud to be improving safety with the next generation of hard hats. When you set out to reinvent the wheel, there has to be a good reason for it – and ours is the safety of every team member, subcontractor, client, and person who walks on our job sites and spaces. 

We started this project back in 2017 to examine what the hard hat of the future would look like. We wanted ventilation, chinstraps, and various upgrades. At the time, many companies were simply adapting rock climbing and biking helmets. Clayco tested several Type II helmets before deciding to work with STUDSON in 2020. Their full-brim, ventilated, Koroyd-enabled version is scientifically engineered to absorb and dissipate the force caused by any sudden impact.

The first-of-its-kind STUDSON safety helmet for Clayco encompasses our vision to create a “Hard Hat of the Future” and will provide better protection than standard hard hats. These helmets have upgraded functions to keep workers safe, including vents for dissipating heat and embedded Twiceme chip technology that digitally integrates the wearer’s health data. 

The U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) announced last year that it was replacing traditional hardhats with ANSI-Z89.1-certified Type II safety helmets. Luckily, companies like Clayco and our partners have required upgraded protective helmets for much longer. A recent feature by ENR highlighted how more organizations are adopting helmets with anti-concussion technology to evolve job site safety standards across the construction industry. 

In November 2023, we transitioned our team members to the SHK-1 full-brim type II safety helmet – this STUDSON design merges safety and innovation. Our initial 3,000-unit shipment represented Clayco’s first step in adopting this first-ever full-brim type II safety helmet across our organization.

Building the Hard Hat of the Future with SCAD

Promoting the Art and Science of Building is always rewarding, and it’s one of the reasons Clayco chose to work with SCAD! To ensure that we continuously develop the next generation of hard hats, we partnered with the Clayco SCADpro design team to create new prototypes. The team was comprised of students from five countries pursuing different studies. Their diverse skill sets, knowledge, and experiences allowed them to create original, cutting-edge designs that are sustainable, durable, lightweight, comfortable, and safe to inspire the next generation of hard hats in the field.

The team conducted secondary research and comparative studies to recognize key pain points and devise the proper materials and structures to succeed. Biomimicry was also involved in the design process, which essentially models creations after biological entities. The team integrated some of the most durable structures in nature into the helmet design, including the beak of a toucan, a tortoise shell, the powerful claws of a mantis shrimp, and the skull of a woodpecker, all inspired by industry-leading innovations. It’s a tribute to the creativity, durability, and renewability of nature.

The final three designs paid attention to the insights and feedback from Clayco workers, including weight, ventilation, comfort, and personalization. The team started with scaled sketches, transitioned to CAD drawings and 3D renderings, and advanced to prototyping by modeling Ren foam and vacuum-forming plastic sheets. Three final hard hat concepts were rendered for a photo realism effect to bring the concepts to life, and you can check them out here. Moving forward, our Clayco team is taking steps to manufacture each of these designs and test them in the field.

Let’s keep amplifying safety across the industry!

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