Police Headgear Assessment

A proposed ASTM International standard will be used to assess helmets and face shields worn by law enforcement officers. ASTM’s homeland security committee (E54) is developing the proposed standard (WK72061). 

According to ASTM International member Casandra Robinson, U.S. National Institute of Standards and Technology, the proposed standard specifies performance requirements, conditioning procedures, and test methods for assessing nonballistic-resistant head protection worn by law enforcement officers.

Robinson notes that the U.S. National Institute of Justice (NIJ) initiated a multi-discipline collaborative effort in 2017 to guide the development of performance standards for protective equipment worn by police officers, with head protection being the first equipment to be addressed.  Brian Montgomery, senior engineer at the NIJ and ASTM International member, states that “the development of performance standards for life saving equipment is of utmost importance to the law enforcement community.” 

“Police officers have described their operational and functional requirements and the hazards they face, and technical experts have been working to adapt existing test methods or developing new standards to address officer requirements,” says Robinson. “Those test methods will be referenced in the proposed standard, which will also specify performance requirements that helmets must meet.” 

“When making purchasing decisions, agencies need to seriously consider procuring equipment that meets an accepted standard, “ says Montgomery.  “If a product is not certified or has not been proven to meet an accepted standard, then the equipment may not meet their needs.” 

Both purchasers and manufacturers of protective headgear, as well as testing laboratories, will find the proposed standard helpful.

ASTM welcomes participation in the development of its standards. Become a member of ASTM.

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