Safety helmets are mandatory pieces of equipment and attire on any construction site in New York. They are not only used by construction workers, but also by managers, inspectors, engineers, OSHA inspectors, surveyors, architects, as well as all visitors and apprentices. Their use is one of the main elements of protection against head injuries, but they also serve a greater purpose – identification. The colour matching and coordination of helmets helps distinguish individual roles and positions.
White, yellow, red, blue, green, orange and black are the most common helmet colours found on construction sites. Most often, they define the position of the person wearing them and the function they perform at their workplace. They facilitate the recognition of individual employees and guarantee a level of safety due to their better visibility. This rather unnoticed level of labelling can prevent many construction injuries and fatalities. The most common differentiation for the colours is as follows:
The use of coloured safety helmets symbolizes an organized workplace. However, wearing coloured helmets in accordance with a position or role is not regulated by law. To that end, it is not uncommon that a helmet of a given colour is worn by an employee who has no function associated with it.
The colour of helmets comes as second nature to people working in the New York construction industry, but not every state operates equally. Each plant has the right to specify the colours it uses in its internal regulations, but many managers use the same, generally understood principle of assigning colours. However, international construction sites’ colour labelling may differ tremendously from those in the United States. For example, the colour grey may be used for guests instead of red. For this reason, before starting work and when reading the internal company regulations, it is worth getting acquainted with the colours of helmets used on any one construction site.