MEREDITH CHAPMAN is Equestrian Australia’s National Health and Safety Manager, and has a few words of advice on the regulations surrounding helmets.
What are EA’s rules on helmets?
As from the 1st July this year, riders and drivers competing in an EA competition must at all times wear an approved and tagged helmet with the chin strap fastened. This has been the case for eventers since January 2020, and the rule has applied to jumping since January this year. Then from July we will have dressage, driving and endurance on board.
An approved helmet is one that meets the standards set out both in our general regulations and by the FEI, and those same standards apply across all disciplines.
The plan is to have helmet taggers at events throughout Australia to check helmets. If a rider arrives at an event in one of those five disciplines with a helmet that doesn’t comply, they will not be able to compete because the standards are mandatory from 1st July.
Why was it necessary to put these regulations in place?
This is about all of us working together to manage health and safety, and it’s also very much about awareness and training so that people engage. Some riders think it’s us checking and saying your helmet’s safe or it’s not, but we can only ensure that you’re wearing the standard helmet that we mandate.
We want people to be aware and responsible for their own heads as well. For example, most helmet manufacturers recommend replacing your helmet every five years or so. But if the helmet has sustained a hard blow, it should be replaced immediately because there may be damage to the inner shell that will reduce its capacity to protect you.
How do I know if my helmet complies and where do I get it tagged? The standards are all listed in EA General Regulations, Article 122.2: Dress and Salute. You’ve got your Australian, New Zealand, American, British and European standards and they’re all included. So no matter which country your helmet was manufactured in, you’ll know whether or not it complies.
Once you’re sure your helmet meets the standard you need to get it tagged, you would go onto your state website and search for helmet tagging and you will find how to get your helmet tagged.
For more information on approved helmets, visit Equestrian Australia’s helmet safety standards page.
Feature Image: From 1st July this year, your helmet must be tagged to show that it complies with EA’s helmet standards.