Whenever you go to construction sites, it is mandatory to wear hard hats. This is because safety helmets are one of the standard Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) that must be worn in these environments to prioritise the safety and health of workers and visitors alike. These common PPEs worn in construction sites help prevent fatal injuries, and hard hats particularly protect the head from flying debris or injury when falling from great heights.

But did you know that there are actually different types of hard hats? In 2016, Build UK published a standardised colour code for the helmets worn when working in construction sites. This can be found under their Health & Safety Section. If you are interested to know which ones you can and cannot wear on a site visit, then read on below.

Why are hard hat colours classified?

Generally, these hard hats should provide the same amount of protection no matter the colour. They are actually classified to be able to tell each worker and their duties apart. This may be able to help the personnel, as well as anyone on site to know the skills and qualifications of each worker when executing operations and safety measures. Here is a summary of the colours and what they represent.

  1. Black helmets. These are worn by supervisors or foremen. If you need to address some concerns, they may be your go-to person.
  2. White helmets. These are worn by skilled workers, particularly site managers, competent operatives, or vehicle marshals. Usually, site managers can be distinguished by their clothing, as they wear something more formal apart from other workers.
  3. Orange helmets. These are worn by slinger signallers. They help guide the operators who lift heavy objects, such as crane operators, by directing them through standardised hand signals.
  4. Blue helmets. These are worn by anyone not holding any of the responsibilities above. These may be apprentices or site visitors.

In addition, trained fire marshals and first-aiders may have hats with a red or green sticker, respectively, with a white cross in the middle. They may also wear red or green hats accordingly.

Why should you determine which colour is suited for you?

This is mainly a safety concern. It is important to determine if a person is qualified or trained to do certain tasks or operations within the construction site. Letting blue-level personnel work unsupervised can lead to dangerous situations. In turn, these regulations, when not followed, may lead certain construction projects to a halt for non-compliance.

If you are still working out how to best find a suitable safety helmet for you, check out our article on why Ffrost safety helmets may be your best fit.