Wearing yellow is old hat for construction workers

New colour-coded system will see traditional helmet colour head out of site

IT’S the end of an era for the yellow hard hat as construction companies across the UK begin to slowly hang them up for the last time.

In a bid to make construction sites safer, industry chiefs are replacing the traditional Bob the Builder-style helmets with a new colour-coded system, and there is no place for the trusted sunshine-coloured headgear.

The legislation change, which comes into force in January, means the popular TV character alongside real-life builders and tradesmen will need a hat makeover in order to work on site.

Drafted in consultation with its members, the Build UK Safety Helmet Colours Standard aims to promote best practice on construction sites and has been designed to ensure that on-site personnel are easily identifiable.

With health and safety a top priority for Build UK, it is hoped the implementation of this consistent approach will result in the improvement of on-site communication and increased safety on construction projects.

As part of the new system, white hats – to be worn by site managers and qualified tradesmen – will become the most common colour on construction sites.

Site supervisors will don black, slingers and signallers will wear orange and everyone else will have a blue hat.
Trained first aiders and fire marshals will also have stickers on their helmets.

The colour change has been well received within the industry with Highways England announcing they would be adopting the new system on all construction and maintenance sites next year and this “emphasises the industry’s willingness to collaborate and share best practice in order to tackle key construction challenges,” says Build UK chief executive Suzannah Nichol MBE.

Construction contractor Auburn Hill is also supporting the colour-coded system with managing director Paul Matthews expecting a reduction in the number of injuries and onsite accidents.

"Health and safety on any site is the number one priority,” he said.

“Being on any building or construction is demanding, so having a system whereby you can immediately identify whose who – and perhaps most importantly who is trained in first aid – is going to make an extremely positive impact, especially in the darker days of winter.

“I would expect to see the number of incidents, accidents and injuries reduced as individual’s skills and limits are essentially on display."

Nichol added: “We are delighted that our Safety Helmet Colours Standard, which aims to provide clear and practical help for everyone working on-site, is being taken on and implemented by the wider industry as best practice.”

Safety helmet colours
Black: Supervisor
Orange: Slinger/signaller
White: Site manager/competent operative or vehicle marshall
Blue: Everyone else

Your News

If you've got a story that would be of interest to Builder & Engineer readers, send us an email


2017-05-10 11:47

Opening site doors to more females is vital to plugging the construction skills gap, reports Claire Cameron

THE construction industry continues to be plagued by a well-documented skills gap with some suggesting the shortage could get worse before it gets better.

2017-05-08 15:27

If you work on a building site, are self-employed or have a zero-hours contract, you might be surprised to know you work in the ”gig economy”. This is the economy characterised by temporary work and irregular hours, pay and working conditions.

2017-03-29 11:31

Jeremy Gould, VP sales Europe, TomTom Telematics, discusses how technological developments in vehicle telematics have opened up new workflow management possibilities for the construction industry

2017-03-21 10:31

With the demand of oil increasing, it’s estimated that the Earth will reach its full capacity for oil consumption at some point within the next 20 years. This is despite the production of oil decreasing, and the construction industry is no exception to this, reports Niftylift.

2017-03-17 11:55

With construction firms leading the way in drone technology, Claire Cameron takes a closer look at how unmanned aerial vehicles (UAVs) can be used onsite

2017-03-07 17:20

While the physical safety of workers is prioritised on construction sites, mental health is often overlooked, reports Claire Cameron

2017-02-28 15:53

As part of an ongoing revamp, the Joint Contracts Tribunal has rolled out an updated suite of standard form construction contracts for Design & Build. John Cleaveley, partner and head of construction at Weightmans LLP, takes a look at the changes

2017-01-04 10:35

As pressure mounts to achieve the government’s housebuilding objectives, the effective regeneration of brownfield land is becoming increasingly important. Builder & Engineer takes a look at the challenges of regenerating contaminated land

Free E-newsletter Sign-Up

Sign up for our free e-newsletter

Looking for a company or service?