Mind Your Head
Colour coding is an essential part of site safety, with clothing and signage using colour as a signifier of importance, status and occupation. The use of colour coding is of course also used in the case of hard hats.
Most likely considered an essential piece of safety equipment, safety helmets have played a key safety role on building sites since the 1930s, countless lives have been saved since it's inception. The use of safety helmets on UK construction sites is a legal requirement. But one aspect of the hard hat also has another objective, and that is its task in helping distinguish and identify the role of the wearer.
The colour-coded system of hard hats may vary from site to site and even across countries, however, here is a basic guide to help identify the wearer by the colour they wear;
White - Usually worn by a person of authority on sites, such as managers or engineers.
Brown - Associated with welders and those carrying out work using high temperatures.
Green - Used mainly by safety inspectors, but has also been seen on new or probationary staff.
Yellow - Usually the colour of civil engineers (groundworkers) and labourers.
Blue - Contractors such as HVACR technicians and electricians adopt this colour.
Orange - This high-visibility colour, this is the first choice for road crews.
Grey - reserved for visitors (or an employee who has lost or forgotten their own, this is also sometimes pink).
Hard hats believe it or not also have a best before date much like the food in your local supermarket this is due to the plastic that deteriorates over time and therefore to be optimal in its safety will need to be replaced after a certain amount of time.