Polyurethanes can save lives!

Last week, a researcher was rescued from one of Germany’s deepest caves, where he had been trapped more than 1,000 meters deep for 11 days. Hundreds of rescuers and doctors, coming from five different countries, took part in the operation.

And polyurethane was there to help them, too.

Johann Westhauser’s head was protected by a helmet made of polyurethane on his way out of the cave. Given that the unfortunate explorer suffered head injuries during a rock fall, it was especially crucial that this helmet provided the best level of safety during his rescue when his head had to be kept stable during upwards movement through extremely narrow cave passages.

In addition to offering safety and comfort, a very important property of polyurethane made helmet is to serve as an impact protector. It was all the more necessary as rescuers had to protect Johann W. from more rock falls as they got him out. Luckily, the great work of the rescue team combined with the strong material protection led him out of the cave safely.

Polyurethane is in fact found in a wide range of safety equipment, including safety helmets and safety goggles. In helmets, it is generally in the foam padding which is vital to protect your head from shock.

So, next time you wear a safety helmet, be it for work or leisure, remember that polyurethane could just save your life!

Johann Westhauser on his way back to the surface, his head safely protected by a helmet made of polyurethane


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