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Safety Helmet Colours

Build UK’s Objective

To achieve a common safety helmet colour standard to realise the following benefits:

  • A single standard that can be adopted by all contractors. At present contractors specify different requirements on helmets as there is no industry agreed standard.
  • More clearly identifying peoples roles through helmet colour which indicates the level of responsibility on site. It fosters pride in the wearing of a specific hat colour as a badge of responsibility.
  • Reduced costs as companies will no longer have to buy different coloured helmets for different jobs.


There are currently a number of different approaches to safety helmet colours:

  • Research has found that while most sites / contractors have a policy on helmet colours, sites / contractors were often implementing different approaches.
  • Individual contractors have introduced job identified safety helmet colours in their PPE Standard.
  • Network Rail has specific requirements regarding safety helmet colours on or near the line side (white for general use or blue for inexperienced people / visitors).
  • This inconsistent approach is confusing and potentially dangerous.
  • On smaller sites a colour standard may be impractical, in these cases we advise using a default colour of white as is general current practice.

Build UK which represents many construction contractors and trade bodies has produced an industry standard to address these issues. A hub collaborative working group representing contractors has agreed that there should be an aligned approach to this standard.

Build UK Standard, Minimum requirements

Sites that adopt a helmet colour code for specific roles are to use the following colours from 1 January 2017. This guide aligns to Build UK and Network Rail requirements.

  • Reflective markings and role specific helmet decals are permitted.
  • Coloured high visibility vests are permitted to identify other roles e.g. vehicle marshal.
  • Helmets must meet BS EN 397.
  • Network Rails PPE standard allows only white and blue helmets.

Helmet Colours :

  1. Black : Site Supervisors.
  2. Orange : Slinger / Signaller.
  3. Blue : Inexperienced Person / Visitor.
  4. White : General Use (Including sites where colour coding impractical), Manager, Client, Competent Operative.
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