Last edited 21 Sep 2016

Safety helmet colours


[edit] Overview

Build UK was established in 2015 to ‘…improve conditions for the supply chain, the wider industry and its clients.’ It represents 27 of the largest main contractors and 40 leading trade associations representing 11,500 specialist contractors.

In April 2016, Build UK published a new standard ‘Safety Helmet Colours’, to be implemented on all new construction sites, and all existing construction sites where practicable (exceptions include Network Rail, who only permit white and blue helmets on its infrastructure).

The standard was drafted in consultation with Build UK members to provide ‘… a clear and consistent approach to improve communication and safety across construction projects’.

Safety helmets are primarily intended to ‘…protect the upper part of a wearer’s head against injury from falling objects’ (ref BS EN 397 Industrial safety helmets), however, they can also indicate the role and competence of the wearer to others.

The colour standards for safety helmets set out by Build UK are:

  • Black: Supervisor.
  • Orange: Slinger / banksman.
  • White: Site manager, competent operative, vehicle marshal (distinguished by the wearing of a different coloured high-vis vest).
  • Blue: All those coming to the site who do not fall into any of the above categories.

It also prescribes two helmet stickers:

All helmets must meet BS EN 397 Industrial safety helmets.

Safety Helmet Colour was published alongside a Training Standard, specifying and promoting card schemes carrying the Construction Skills Certification Scheme (CSCS) logo, which helps contractors assess the competence of construction workers and with their eligibility to work on-site.

Suzannah Nichol MBE, Chief Executive of Build UK, said: “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”.

In September 2016, Highways England announced they would adopt the hard hat colour system for all construction and maintenance sites from 1 January 2017.

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Peakview270.png Peak View translucent hard hat by Portwest

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