Mind Your Head

Labourer

Labourer

Yellow = Yellow is used by labourers and earth movers or groundworkers.

Technical

Technical

Blue = Blue is reserved for carpenters and other technical contractors such as electricians.

Foreman

Foreman

White = Managers, Foremen, Engineers or supervisors usually wear white.

Road Crew

Road Crew

Orange = Orange is usually worn by road crews.

  • Labourer

    Labourer

    Yellow = Yellow is used by labourers and earth movers or groundworkers.

  • Technical

    Technical

    Blue = Blue is reserved for carpenters and other technical contractors such as electricians.

  • Foreman

    Foreman

    White = Managers, Foremen, Engineers or supervisors usually wear white.

  • Road Crew

    Road Crew

    Orange = Orange is usually worn by road crews.

    Colour plays a very important role in a construction site, from the safety signs to the hi-vis clothing every colour has a significant reason for being.

    This will not be a surprise to anyone who works in construction but if you don't actually work in that area, or you are just about to start out in your first construction job, the use of colour might be of interest to you, if you are just starting out you may find this article quite useful.

    Colour Coded Construction

    Probably one of the most important pieces of safety gear ever issued to workers and contractors employed on a construction site is the humble safety helmet, more commonly known as the hard hat.

    It is believed that hard hats originated in the US during the 1930's, America had, at the time, some of the largest construction projects in the world. Massive undertakings such as the Golden Gate Bridge, Empire State Building or the Hoover Dam. There are some out there who believe that the hard hat was developed by Franz Kafka a Czech author who was working at the Worker's Accident Insurance Institute for the kingdom of Bohemia in 1912, however, this remains unverified.

    Whilst their origins may remain a mystery it is a known fact that they have saved many lives in their time as a piece of safety equipment. In the UK the wearing of a hard hat on a construction site is a legal requirement, designed using high impact plastic or fibreglass they have been keeping heads safe across the world for many years.

    However, what most people don't know is they also serve another important function and that is they identify who is likely wearing them. Yes, as I mentioned colour plays an important role in construction sites and the colour of a hard hat will signify who is wearing it, which helps everyone on a site to identify who is doing what.

    Hard hats have a colour coded system which can differ from country to country sometimes even from firm to firm, there are some basic rules that can help you identify the different workers from the colour of their hats.

     White = Managers, Foremen, Engineers or supervisors usually wear white.

     Brown = Brown hats are usually worn by welders or those using high heat.

     Green = Green is usually for Safety inspectors but can also be used by new or probationary staff.

     Yellow = Yellow is used by labourers and earth movers or groundworkers.

     Blue = Blue is reserved for carpenters and other technical contractors such as electricians.

     Orange = Orange is usually worn by road crews.

     Grey = This is often the colour worn by visitors to the site or can be used by an employee that has lost or forgotten their own.

    Many sites now have a bright pink hat for those who forget theirs.

    This, of course, is not a hard and fast rule and is only a generalisation, it is only adopted by the industry itself. It is always a good idea to familiarise yourself with how the colour code is used when starting on a new site. Whilst the colour code can have significant benefits not only being helpful in identifying others but also for safety the most important rule is whatever the colour it's better to have one on your head than none at all.

    Another little-known fact outside of the construction industry is that hard hats have a best before date built into them. Because most hard hats are made of plastic and plastic can deteriorate over time which causes it to weaken, they only have a limited shelf life before they have to be replaced.

    Wherever they came from and were first used, hard hats have been a most welcome addition to UK health and safety law. Sites can be dangerous and risky places to work, so wearing personal protective equipment gives you the best chance of minimising personal risk at work, whatever colour it might be.

    If you would like to read more try out Mind Your Head part 2

    Demo

    Contact Details

    • Telephone: 01702 225 440

    • fmlenquiries @primoplc.com

    • Primo plc, Cumberland House, Baxter Ave

    • Southend-on-Sea, Essex SS2 6HZ