In my experience of working on UK building sites over the past years I have in practice only encountered the use of the simple and standard white hard hat. It never really crossed my mind to think that the hard hat colour could be used as a role communication tool. What a simple but effective idea: the possibility of quickly and consistently identifying people’s roles (e.g. manager, labourer, visitor) on construction sites through the colour of their hard hats.

A simple Google search does not return any significant initiatives on this idea apart from the fact that this approach has been produced by BuildUK ( ) and suggested as an industry standard in April 2016. So it seems this idea is still in its infancy and there is some way to go for this to get more traction within the UK. The colour coding has been developed in the UK to address issues such as:

  • Different hard hat colour policies on different sites
  • Inconsistency increasing confusion and danger on sites
  • Identification of visitors to site and distinguishing them from those who work regularly and know the site.

Within the context of the ‘Building in Safety’ seminar organised by OHSA in Malta late in 2017 this is certainly an initiative that can be easily considered and implemented (e.g. blue safety hats to all visitors?) to continue supporting everyone’s safety on Maltese construction sites.