In the last blog post, we talked about hard hats. Yes hard hats, we talked about the differences between the hard hat and a bump hat, the history of the hard hat and different designs and of course everyone’s favorite, the accessories. In this blog post, we will dive into the different colors and their meaning and the need for stickers and a couple other bits and pieces.
If you see big construction sites, you’ll know there could potentially be hundreds of workers on a site from different companies. It’s no surprise then that not everyone knows everyone right? On these stickers, important information is shared. Interestingly, paint or permanent markers are used as they can damage the hard hat. Company logo stickers are a norm and that helps right away when there are multiple companies working on the same job. More importantly, stickers often have the qualifications and training of the worker on them. This helps quickly identify workers who can and can help with jobs on the go when related to confined spaces, specialized equipment, electrical etc. It also helps identify if people are in fact allowed on site.
In addition to stickers, there may also be a requirement for reflective tape to be applied, especially at night time to help workers be seen better.
The colors can vary from worksite to worksite but there is generally each color gives everyone more information about the person and their role.
Usually, a white hard hat is for managers, engineers, foremen and supervisors, those who have more authority. Brown hard hats may mean welders, green for safety inspectors which are intuitive but it also could mean a new person on-site. Yellow is usually laborers and earth-movers. Roads crew and visitors are often seen wearing orange hard hats. If you forget your hat, you will probably be given a pink hat which is great banter. The stigma penalty and you’ll be sure you won’t for your helmet again that’s for sure.
Hard hats don’t look flimsy but they do their job. There are infinite stories of people being saved by their hard hats. In 1997 workers were working in the basement of a nickel and cobalt facility when a worker was walking up the stairs and a 53 pounds slag fell 30 feet and hit him in the head. He went to hospital but came out in decent condition thanks to the hard hat.
It’s one of those things you don’t appreciate it until you get unlucky but are also lucky as you have your hard hat on saving you or you see something get struck in the head. That’s the only way some people learn to always keep their hard hat on.
If you work on construction sites, you’ve probably never stopped to consider the history behind the thing you see every day and sits on your own head. We will leave you with one more interesting fact. Our peripheral vision can’t see color but can shapes so often hats have different designs to further distinguish workers.