Hard hats are essential equipment used in all sorts of industries and construction sites throughout the world. They are responsible for ensuring the safety of all kinds of workers on the site. Even outside of safety purposes they are also used in various other ways to minimize risk and maximize efficiency at the worksite.
Brief History of Hard Hats
There are varying opinions on the exact time the hard hat was first used. A primitive version of the hard hat was used in the very early years of shipbuilding. Workers covered their hats with tar and let them cure under the sun to form a sort of safety hat. This saved them from falling objects commonplace in their work.
Many credits the writer Franz Kafka for developing the first-ever civilian hard hat. It is said he did it while working at the Worker’s Accident Insurance Institute for the Kingdom of Bohemia in 1912. But no concrete documents have been found supporting this claim.
Widespread use of what we know today as the hard hat can be traced back to the 1930s in America. These hats were used in many massive construction projects such as the Golden Gate Bridge in California and the Hoover Dam. Though their construction was different. The use of these hats was mandated by the Six Companies, Inc. In 1933.
Why Do You Need a Hard Hat?
The primary use of hard hats is related to safety and the reduction of possible accidents and injuries. But nowadays the hard hat is being used in various creative ways to increase the overall efficiency of the worksite.
Safety From Falling Objects
The most basic use of a hard hat is protection from falling objects. The hard hat as we know it was created specifically for this purpose. Even more primitive versions of the hard hat such as a normal hat covered with tar were made specifically for the protection of shipbuilding workers’ heads from objects overhead.
Identification of a Person
Hard hats are a very convenient way to immediately identify any person on the worksite. With the color code, it is ever so simple to determine what a worker’s designation is and what he does on the site with a mere glance. This decreases the amount of wasted time.
For example, let’s say you are facing some sort of electrical issue while working on the first floor. So you need a person from the electrical side to shut down the power properly. You can easily do this by looking for the required color and identifying them from a crowd. Without a color-coded hard hat, this can take a lot of time.
Color-coded hard hats have made communicating on the worksite easier. One worker can easily notify another worker if they are in a dangerous place. For example, if you are lifting any kind of heavy machinery and you have to call out all the workers in that field. You can easily do this with the hard hat colors.
If all the construction sites employ the usage of the same color-coded hard hats it can help maintain continuity. Workers going from one project to another can feel somewhat at home due to the similar color-coded hard hats. They can easily identify which workers belong where. Supervisors will also be benefitted from this.
Hard Hat Color Code Explained
The hard hat color code system helps to provide each hard hat with a specific color. Using this system all workers of a specific field are designated to the same color. Several colors are used on a worksite.
White Hard Hat
This color is easy to detect amidst all the other colors. Which is why it is reserved for anyone who is working in a supervisory role. This includes engineers, architects, managers, and foremen.
Green Hard Hat
The green hard hat is allotted to the industry or construction site safety officer or inspectors. But in some cases, it can also be assigned to new hires of trainees of the company.
Yellow Hard Hats
Yellow hard hats are worn by workers who deal with heavy machinery or the workers who are earthmovers. It can also be given to workers involved with general construction labor.
Brown Hard Hat
The workers who are generally involved with welding or other tasks that involve high heat are given brown hats.
Orange Hard Hat
This bright and highly visible color is normally designated to workers who are employed on the road construction field. On some occasions, it can also be given to site visitors.
Blue Hard Hats
This hard hat is generally reserved for carpenters and electricians. Along with them interim workers and employees who are in a technical advisory role can also wear this color.
Red Hard Hat
The red hard hat is assigned to workers who undergo emergency training such as firefighters.
Grey Hard Hats
This color is most often used to identify visitors on the worksite.
Pink Hard Hats
The pink hard hat is used mainly for female workers in some work sites. But many companies give the pink hard hat to any worker who has forgotten to bring their hard hat to the site. This is seen as a measure to discourage forgetfulness. Many have also worn this hard hat in support of causes such as the fight against cancer.
Hard hats are an essential piece of equipment for workers in a variety of industries and construction sites worldwide. They can mean the difference between life and death on many occasions. They have reduced the danger in such workplaces significantly.
The color code implemented in these hard hats has increased their functionality by several folds. With each kind of worker under the same color, they can easily coordinate with themselves and also reach out to a worker of a specific field if need be. This system has made the worksites much more efficient as well as safe.