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New Hat Safety Standards

After a 9 year gap, the new European standard for riding hats have now officially been harmonised.

The new EN1384 offers significant increases in performance over the previous version and in comparison to the VG1. It now includes the hazard edge impact test, a higher force for testing mechanical strength (crush resistance), and is tested under increased severity of penetration during the spike test to lie between the VG1 and the PAS015.

These are the main points to consider with other small differences existing in addition to these:-

There are two aspects that the new standards are significant for:-

Riding Organisation Rules

The rules for 2024 for the main organisations will include reference to the EN1384 alongside the VG1 and other standards.  They will continue to accept VG1 (with and without Kitemark or IC Mark depending on organisation) for some time yet with any decision on the long term withdrawal of the VG1 from rules being decided in years to come.

Personal Protection

Harmonisation provides the presumption of conformity to meet the safety requirements in the EU & UK PPE Regulation. Harmonised standards simplify the process for manufacturers, notified bodies and other stakeholders wishing to clearly demonstrate that their helmets meet the health and safety requirements laid down in the regulation as well as giving consistency and reassurance to the market.

The harmonisation of the EN1384 will see hats to this new standard start to enter the market with both the Kitemark and IC Mark being offered for quality testing to this standard.  In time it is likely to supersede the VG1 although there may still be hats made to VG1 entering the market for some time yet, due to the pattern of production. 

Hats made to VG1 can continue to be sold in the UK until such time as a company’s type certificate expires. Type examination certificates are typically issued for 5 years so when current certificates to VG1 expire, the manufacturers are likely to move to EN1384, if not before expiration.

For help or advise on riding hats, speak to a member of staff in our Fawkham Saddlery or Headcorn stores.