16 June 2017


For many years the Swiss Empa test method for the biomechanical evaluation of hip protector performance of hip protectors has been the only real attempt to have a uniform test method. However, latest development is that after 2017, Empa tests on hip protectors  no longer exist, as Empa and BfU, the Swiss Council for Accident Prevention, have terminated their cooperation.

The cease of this cooperation means that the validity of the current test certificates expires after 2017. For SAFEHIP® this is particularly good news, as SAFEHIP® was never approved by the Empa test due to the horseshoe shaped shields, despite the fact that the shields carry substantial biomechanical and clinical evidence.

Tytex has never been able to recognize the Empa test, the main reason being that the parameters for simulating a fall for an old person with osteoporosis were not correct. A study published in Journal of Biomechanical Engineering (Dec. 2008) proved that depending on several parameters, the ranking of different hip protectors is shifted. For example the stiffness of the soft tissue is an important parameter. If the stiffness is too low, soft hip protectors are ranked better, whereas if the stiffness is too high hard shell hip protectors are ranked better.

Most importantly, Tytex ranks the clinical evidence higher than any laboratory test method in all cases. Being a medical textile company, Tytex cannot compromise on medical function or comfort of the hip protectors we deliver and from the very beginning, Tytex has worked closely with health care professionals and users in the development of hip protectors.

In short, the cease of the Empa as a valid test method means that Empa tests can no longer be required as validation and hence it should no longer influence the credibility of SAFEHIP®'s performance, especially in markets where Empa has been a crucial factor.

For further information, please contact your SAFEHIP® representative at Tytex or visit www.safehip.com


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