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First hard hat innovation in 50 years, prevents injury

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First hard hat innovation in 50 years, prevents injury

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The basic design of hard hats has not changed in over 50 years, until now. WaveCel announces a new line of hard hats created to better protect workers against traumatic brain injury (TBI), one of the leading workplace injuries as a result of slips, falls and strikes to the head by falling or moving objects. A hard hat is required on the job by the U.S. Department of Labor’s Occupational Safety and Health Administration when there is possible danger for head injury and is a worker’s first line of defense against TBI. Backed by trusted science and rigorous testing, WaveCel is a spatial cellular structure that lines the inside of the hard hat and is made from a collapsible material that absorbs energy from a head impact in multiple, superior ways. The WaveCel hard hat is designed for various industries, including construction, engineering, manufacturing, aerospace, mining, gas, oil and forestry.

Proudly made in the U.S., WaveCel first debuted in the sports industry in Treks cycling helmets and Burton ski and snowboard helmets. In sport helmets, WaveCel has been proven to absorb up to 73% more rotational force caused from a blow to the head and can reduce the predicted risk of a concussion by up to 98% [1].

“For over 15-years our team has been dedicated to chasing the safest head protection, especially since there has been little to no advancement made to hard hat technology in five decades,” said Dr. Michael Bottlang, WaveCel Co-Founder and Biomechanical Engineer. “The WaveCel hard hat has been meticulously tested and strategically designed to ensure an increase in safety of employees working in environments where risk of TBI is high.”

All hard hats are NOT created equal. In fact, work-related traumatic brain injury (TBI) accounts for 18% of the estimated 1.7 million TBIs that occur in the Unites States annually [2] and can cost anywhere from $600,000 to $1.8 million per case [3]. The construction industry faces the highest number of occupational TBIs of any industry in the U.S., accounting for 25% of all work-related TBIs [4]. Hard hats were originally designed to protect against skull fractures occurring from objects falling from above, but do not take into account the rotational force and impact from slips and falls, which are much more common and can carry a greater risk. WaveCel is a network of hundreds of interconnected shock absorbers attenuating impacts through three principal mechanisms: crumple, flex, and glide. Cells crumple to absorb linear forces. More importantly, they also flex and glide to attenuate rotational forces.

“You only get one brain, and even one injury to the head is one too many,” said Dr. Steve Madey, WaveCel Co-Founder and Orthopedic Surgeon. “The reality is that accidents happen, and the physical ramification of a head injury can be long-lasting and debilitating. At WaveCel, we are committed to shining a light on the impact of TBI and making the workplace safer for all.”

Providing the same unprecedented level of protection, there are two different models of the WaveCel hard hat – the WaveCel T2+ PRO and the WaveCel T2+ MAX. The WaveCel T2+ PRO is a non-vented hard hat perfect for workers in the electrical industry. The WaveCel T2+ MAX is a vented option for those looking for increased air flow for all-day wear. While most hard hats in the industry are only Type I certified, both WaveCel hard hats not only meet Type II standard requirements, but also go one step further to protect against rotational forces as well as lateral impacts. WaveCel hard hats are not only designed with safety in mind, but also comfort and ease of use. Key features include:

·       Low Profile – The lowest profile available on the market with a dome that is approximately 1 inch lower than that of a standard hard hat. The WaveCel liner eliminates the need for a tall air space at the crown that traditional hard hats need to absorb impacts.

·       360º Protection: The WaveCel dome lines the entire shell, crown and sides, which is critical to provide Type II level protection from lateral and crown impacts. Both models are also designed with a full brim to offer even more protection from all sides.

·       Light Weight: All WaveCel hard hats weigh less than 500g for all-day comfort.

·       Breathable – Unlike insulating impact foams, WaveCel is porous, allowing air to circulate freely through 93% of the WaveCel dome. This unique structure keeps workers cooler while on the job.

·       Comfort Liner – The WaveCel dome and headband is lined with a soft foam and moisture-wicking, anti-bacterial microfiber textile to keep workers’ heads comfortable and dry.

·       Accessories – To suit workers’ needs, the hard hats feature rails and slots that universally integrate third party accessories such as headlamps, face shields, earmuffs, and pen holders.

·       Chin Strap – The optional four-point chin strap is made of soft nylon fabric and has a magnetic FIDLOCK® buckle that securely locks and releases with a single-handed “snap” motion.

·       360 Fit System – The system circumferentially cradles the head and comfortably adjusts to all sizes with an oversized dial that is easy to grip with gloves.

·       Customizable – The hard hats can be customized with graphics on the front or side and are available in three standard colors: white, black, and blue as well as two high-visibility colors: yellow and orange.

WaveCel has been rigorously tested at the state-of-the-art Helmet Impact Testing (HIT) facility at Legacy Biomechanics Laboratory in Portland, OR. The team – comprised of engineers, surgeons, scientists, and researchers – tested the hard hat with over three times more impact force than traditional testing methods.

“Having been involved since day one, we are very excited and honored to support WaveCel as they launch this innovative new hard hat technology,” said Ted Rees, President of TPR Industrial, WaveCel’s exclusive launch partner for the U.S. “Their patented, game-changing products are uniquely positioned for success in several vertical markets, and we are excited to be a part of their North American channel plans.”

WaveCel hard hats are Type II certified according to standard ANSI Z87.1 (USA). The new WaveCel hard hats, the WaveCel T2+ PRO and the WaveCel T2+ MAX, will be available for purchase on and at launch from TPR Industrial.

WaveCel products will begin shipping between Q2 and Q3 of 2022 with prices ranging from $169-$189. Pre-orders are now being accepted at and

For more information visit

About WaveCel

WaveCel is based in Oregon and was founded in 2016 by orthopedic surgeon Dr. Steve Madey and biomechanical engineer Dr. Michael Bottlang. WaveCel is a spatial cellular structure lining helmets that absorbs up to 73% more rotational force caused from a blow to the head and thus reduces the predicted risk of a concussion by up to 98% compared to standard helmets.[1] The technology first debuted in 2019, creating waves in the sports industry with Trek Bicycle adopting WaveCel in its cycling helmets and Burton utilizing it in ski/snowboard helmets. In 2020, the Bontrager WaveCel helmet was named TIME Magazine’s “Best Inventions of 2020.” At WaveCel, we’re chasing the safest helmet technology, because one head injury is one too many. Learn more at and on Instagram, Facebook, or Twitter. 

Data Sources

[1] Bliven et al., Accident Analysis and Prevention 2019; 124:58–65

[2] Toccalino et al., Occup Environ Med 2020; 0:1-8

[3] Fu et al., Can J Neurol Sci. 2016 (43):238-247

[4] Tiesman, et al., Am J Prev Med 2011;41(1):61-67


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