Wearing hard hats is a common practice in construction and essential to the safety of its workers. In 2015, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration recorded over 25,000 injuries and as many as 36 deaths caused by construction accidents including falls, trench collapses and scaffold collapses. With data suggesting the dangers of a construction site, hard hats are increasingly more important to protecting workers, contractors and even supervisors on site.
So, all workers are required to wear a hard hat on site but did you know that each color represents a different role? Here are the roles commonly associated with each color:
White – Managers, engineers, foremen or supervisors
Brown – Welders and workers for high heat applications
Green – Safety inspector, but occasionally used for new workers
Yellow – General laborers and earth-moving operators
Blue – Carpenters, technical advisers, and temp workers
Orange – Road crews, new employees, or visitors.
Since there is no official standard, each site may not follow the same color guide. Sites for different projects also may use different color codes, so we recommend speaking with your site manager or supervisor to confirm.
In addition to its unique color, each hard hat is further classified by its class and type found on the label of certification located inside of the shell.
ANSI/CSA Type I – hard hats meet vertical impact and penetration requirements
ANSI/CSA Type II – hard hats meet vertical and lateral impact and penetration requirements and have a foam inner liner made of expanded polystyrene.
Class E (Electrical) provides dielectric protection up to 20,000 volts
Class G (General) provides dielectric protection up to 2,200 volts
Class C (Conductive) provides no dielectric protection.
Having the correct safety certification for your hard hat is important for your safety. If you find your label missing or not legible, it is recommended to replace your hard hat as soon as possible. For more information about head protection regulations, visit the U.S. Department of Labor.
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