different coloured hard hats on construction sites

Coloured hard hats standard to improve safety on construction sites

Build UK, the building contractors association, has released a new industry standard covering the use of different coloured hard hats on construction sites.

The Safety Helmet Colours Standard uses simple colour coding to identify on-site personnel in an attempt to provide a clear and consistent approach to improve communication and safety across construction projects and promote best practice within the industry.

The standard requires site supervisors to wear black hard hats with slingers and signallers in orange, site managers in white and everyone else in blue.

Trained first aiders and fire marshalls should wear stickers on their helmets.

At the same time Build UK has also introduced a Training Standard, which was developed in response to the Construction Leadership Council (CLC) recommendation to specify and promote card schemes carrying the CSCS logo, will help contractors to assess the competence of construction workers, along with their eligibility to work on-site.

The response from Build UK members has been extremely positive according to Julie White, Chairman of the Training and Skills Leadership Group: “We’ve had some great, open discussion at our Build UK member forums and it’s fantastic to see the new industry standards taking shape. Both the Safety Helmet and Training Standards provide clear and practical help for everyone working on-site, showing that by improving our working relationships and using our collective voice, we can make a real difference to the industry”.

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive of Build UK, adds: “Health and safety is a priority for Build UK and we are delighted with the positive response from our members who have welcomed the latest standards, which aim to make life easier and help them meet the increasing demands of working on-site.  We will continue to bring the contracting supply chain together to engage intelligently and collaboratively in policy debates ensuring that Build UK, as the voice of the industry, leads positive and meaningful change”.

About Georgina Bisby

Georgina Bisby
Georgina Bisby is a journalist and editor with extensive experience covering construction and industrial news and technology, including a particular focus on health and safety, energy and environmental issues.

2 comments

  1. Avatar

    I can maybe see the sense in matching hat colour to CSCS card colour but in my book there is no real SAFETY benefit from such a rule, it simply identifies site roles.

    On the other hand I have used the colour of hard hats to very effectively manage date expiry and user compliance – put simply I inherited a mix of different colour hats all with different use by dates.

    All I had to do was find a colour that was not in use (in this case orange) and (in close consultation with the workforce) issue an instruction that if a hat was not coloured orange and issued by our organisation then it was regarded as non-compliant for PPE purposes. Instant stock control and the knowledge that X years from the issue of orange hats a new colour would be declared and the process repeated.

    • Roger Bisby

      That is a good idea but the use by date is something that is demanded by the EU on all safety equipment. An out of date hat doesn’t become ineffective in fact test show that neither UV not ageing is a factor. Manufacturers of hard hats are happy to go along with this notion that the need replacing but it isn’t founded on anything other than having to put a date on it.

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