Hard Hat Colour Coding

17 March 2023  |  Admin

Hard Hat Colour Coding

Hard Hat Colour Coding

Wearing hard hats on construction sites is vital for safety, as the risk of head injury can be extremely high – even with all the necessary control measures in place. Therefore, it's crucial that everyone understands the requirements surrounding them, including the colour coding of hard hats. PPE requirements are covered by the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992. These regulations now also cover hard hats on construction sites. However, the most recent hard hat colour coding system was introduced in 2017 by Build UK.

Build UK, the leading representative organisation for the UK construction industry, revised the colour coding system for hard hats. The new colour scheme went into effect in January 2017 and is designed to make identifying every construction worker’s role and level of expertise easier. All on-site construction workers are required to wear construction helmets according to Build UK’s colour code. The only exception is Network Rail, which has its own hard hat colour system: white for general use and blue for visitors and inexperienced people.

Is it Essential to Wear a Hard Hat on Construction Sites?

Although it is not explicitly stated in the regulations that all construction sites must have hard hats, the Health and Safety Executive (HSE) states:

“Does the law require head protection on construction sites? For the vast majority of cases yes – on almost all construction sites the risk of head injury are such that the law requires head protection.”

Under the Personal Protective Equipment Regulations 1992, employers must provide hard hats to those who may be at risk of head injuries. This risk is usually high on construction sites even with control measures, so hard hats are almost always required. People who are most at risk of head injuries include workers on construction sites, but visitors and any others who may be vulnerable must also be considered. Once the employer has identified who may be harmed and how they may be harmed by conducting a risk assessment, they must provide these groups of people with hard hats that are compliant with PPE safety standards. Hard hats will also usually be colour coded, so everyone on site can identify those around them.

New Mandated Hard Hat Colour Code

  • Black: For supervisors and foremen
  • White: For site managers, competent operatives or those who are skilled in their trade, and vehicle marshals
  • Blue: For anyone who shouldn’t be left unsupervised on the site, including apprentices, architects, and visitors
  • Orange: For those trained to sling and signal to crane operators, although they could also be electricians, bricklayers, and other professions
  • Green: For first aiders

Old Hard Hat Colour Code

  • White: For supervisors, foremen, and engineers
  • Yellow: For general labourers and earth-moving operators
  • Blue: For electricians, carpenters, and other technical operators
  • Orange: For road crews, such as crane operators
  • Green: For new workers and safety inspectors
  • Brown: For those who work with high heat applications, such as welders
  • Grey: For site visitors



If you are an employer, you might be required to provide your workers with hard hats. The new colour coding system explained in this blog, you should now know what coloured hard hats you need. At Total Workwear, we have a wide range of head protection. To view all head protection (including hard hats)

to view our range of head protection workwear



Thank you for visiting Total Workwear.
If you need any help or advice please contact us using the form below or email us at sales@totalworkwear.co.uk

Click Here to Contact Us


no quibble 30 days returns on workwear low prices on workwear no minimum quantities on workwear and work uniformsprint and embroidery service on workwear
contact us on 01522 712172
online help centre
Items: 0
Total: £0.00
view basket