Hard Hat Color Code: What Does It Mean?

Hard Hat Facts

Building construction sites are potentially the riskiest place to work. As per the Occupational Safety and Health Administration, over 25,000 injuries and 36 deaths are caused by construction accidents. So, safety should be the primary concern there.  

That’s why workers from all over the world wear hard hats to protect the worker’s head. It has become a common practice on building sites. Even though working in the same place, not every worker wears hard hats of the same color.

Even wondered, why? What do the colors of a hard hat mean? No worries, we’ll clear all your confusions. Before you know the meaning or importance of hard hats, let’s know more about hard hats.

What Is A Hard Hat?

The hard hat is a helmet or personal protective equipment that is made of polymer, fiberglass, or metal. These are designed to protect the worker’s head from injuries. It’s mandatory safety equipment on building sites that can withstand significant impact and different weather conditions. 

You Love to Know Our Top 15 Hard Hats Review for 2020

Short History behind Hard Hat

The hard hat was first invented by Dickinson Bullard, who was an entrepreneur. It was first introduced during the World War I era. That time, hard hat was made of leather and rarely from steel.  With time, the built material was developed to ensure more safety. 

In the early 20th century, it was made to wear in construction sites and ports. Today’s hard hats are made of such a sturdy material that can absorb up to 8000 to 9000volts.

What Do The Colors Of A Hard Hat Mean?

The hard hat comes in plenty of colors with a distinct purpose and represents different roles. From workers to engineers, everyone wears hard hats in different colors. The color-coding systems of the hard hats were introduced to identify the worker’s designation. 

It lets others know who is who and what is his role. The color-coding system is also intended to minimize on-site threats by showing the wearer’s experience. If anyone is trained in first aid and fire marshals, he will wear a hard hat with a sticker. 

Color coding system may vary from country to country and organizations. Still, some common rules can help you to know what do the colors of a hard hat mean. Here are some commonly found colors;

  • White

White-colored hard hats are worn by individuals who work in a supervisory position. Usually, the site manager, engineers, foreman, architect, or supervisor wears a white hard hat. In short, top-ranked people wear this colored hard hat.

  • Green

Green is a symbol of safety. Safety officers or inspectors use so green colored hard hats. It can also be used by a new staff member who is working as a trainee or probationary staff.

  • Yellow

General construction laborers use yellow hard hats. The workers who operate heavy machinery or earthmovers also wear a yellow hard hat. In short, a worker without any special designation or quality wears this color.

  • Red

Red is the symbol of danger or fire alerts. That’s why firefighters or fire marshal’s wear red hard hat on job sites. Also, a worker who is in emergency training wears a red hard hat.

  • Orange

The road construction workers mostly wear an orange hard hat. Orange is highly visible; that’s why banksman slingers or traffic marshals or lifting operatives wear this hard hat. New workers or site visitors also use it.

  • Brown

The worker who does high heat applications or welding wears a brown colored hard hat. The brown color is close to red color; that’s why it indicates the jobs related to heating. 

  • Blue

Carpenters, technical operators, and also medical personnel wear blue hard hats. Also, the provisional worker in a technical role wears a blue hard hat. 

  • Grey

Usually, site visitors or worker from outside wear grey colored hard hat. 

  • Pink

If any worker forgets to bring a hat at the workplace or his hat is broken, he can wear a pink hard hat in the meantime. He can wear it until the replacement. It is also considered as the punishment symbol for anyone who forgets to bring his hat. 

There is the most common hard hat we often see in building sites. Among all, white, blue, orange, and yellow is the most perceived color.  

Why Are Hard Hats Important?

The importance of hard hats is endless. Hard hats are all-time safety accessories used by individuals on construction sites. Construction sites are the riskiest place to work. The worker may get hit by anything or may fall from high heights. During any sudden accident, it might be deadly for anyone who gets hit in the head. 

This is where a hard hat can make differences. Though hard hat seems lightweight, but it is;

  • Shock resistance
  • Penetration resistance
  • Flammability resistance
  • Heat resistance 
  • Electrical resistance
  • And absorb water

Even after knowing everything, most workers take off their hat, which is not a good practice at all. When you can minimize your risk by wearing a hard hat, then doing so is nothing but foolishness. 

You must know that a hard hat is responsible for saving countless lives for long. In fact, the UK government announce hard hats as a legal requirement on sites. Apart from safety, a hard hat can help the co-worker to identify the person and his responsibility. All in all, no one can deny the importance of hard hats.

What Are the Types of Hard Hats?

Hard hats are available in two types, including type I and type II. Where type I don’t come with lateral protection, and it protects the user from the blow. 

Conversely, type II hard hats ensure complete protection. It offers both top and lateral protection. Each category of the hard hat comes in between these types of hard hats. 

Only electrical hard hats are divided into three classes, including;

  • E-Class– These “Electrical” hard hat that protects lineman against 15,000 volts.
  • G-Class– These “General” hard hats protect linemen from around 2000volts.
  • C-Class– These “Conductive” hard hat only protects the user against impact. It is risky to use these hats for electrical purposes. 


Hopefully, now you can understand what do the colors of a hard hat mean. Also, other facts and the importance of hard hats. If you are working on any construction site, make sure to wear your designated hard hat. 

Remember about your family and near people when you feel like not wearing a hard hat. Life is more important than anything else!