Can you wear any hard hat colour you want when working on-site to match your work clothes? Why do electricians need to wear hard hats?
The colour of the hard hat designates your role while working on-site. A white hard hat is a manager or a skilled operative or vehicle marshal/banks man. Hard hats are not fashion accessories, so you must adhere to the colour scheme. Hard hats are part of your PPE protecting your head.
- 1 What do the different colour hard hats mean in the UK?
- 2 Is a black hard hat hotter to wear?
- 3 Can I wear a pink hard hat?
- 4 What is the British standard for hard hats?
- 5 What are construction helmets made out of?
- 6 How do you keep hard hats compliant?
- 7 Is PPE a legal requirement?
- 8 Can you be sacked for not wearing PPE?
- 9 Can I refuse to work without the correct PPE?
- 10 Do hard hats expire in the UK?
- 11 Can hard hats be recycled?
What do the different colour hard hats mean in the UK?
The colour of the hard hat is to designate your working position on-site from management to the labourer.
While the hard hat designates your position, it also plays a vital function of being part of your personal protective equipment (PPE).
Without PPE you will not be allowed to work on a building site in the UK.
New mandated hard hat code:
Is a black hard hat hotter to wear?
Yes, black does not reflect heat, so a black hard hat would be hotter to wear than a white hard hat.
However, the site supervisor is not always outside in the sunlight. They can be attending to paperwork or at meetings or snagging inside the new builds.
Can I wear a pink hard hat?
It depends where you are working. If you are working on a UK construction site, then the answer is no, but if you work somewhere else and need a hard hat for PPE and not designations purposes, you couldn’t wear a pink hard hat.
What is the British standard for hard hats?
BS EN 397. Construction site hats undergo rigorous testing. Hard hats for construction sites are regulated as all hard hats are in the UK.
Hard hats are tested for impact resistance, flame retardance, and durability. Uk hard hats have to be resistant to UV light that can cause damage to the structure of the hat.
You can only use a hard hat BS EN 397 on a UK construction site as imports may not be up to the standard.
What are construction helmets made out of?
ABS. The helmet shell must be of rigid construction to withstand impacts.
The helmets are made from polyethylene, ABS (Acrylonitrile Butadiene Styrene – a thermoplastic).
Some helmets are made from fibreglass with polyester resins. However, the basic functionality of the hard hat is to prevent the skull of the operative from receiving an impact from a falling object.
How do you keep hard hats compliant?
Hard hats fall under the Personal Protective Equipment at work regulation 1992. You must keep compliant with these rules.
- If the hard hat has an adjustable chin strap, it must be used
- The inside of the hard hat must be regularly cleaned. This can be done by using a mild detergent
- Sweatbands should be replaced at regular intervals
- Hard hats that have had an impact should be replaced even if the impact was from dropping the hard hat
- The hard hats should be checked frequently for damage, this includes the strap
- If the hard hat has become deeply scratched or misshapen the hard hat should be replaced
- Hard hats should be worn as they were designed for, not back to front, no sloping or tilting
- Do not customise your hard hat with adhesive stickers or solvent-based paints or by drilling additional ventilation holes
- Bump caps cannot be worn if there is a risk of falling objects
Is PPE a legal requirement?
Yes. It is incumbent on every employer in the UK to supply their employees with the required PPE needed for their job.
The law is quite specific. If the employee may be exposed to risk or danger while working, the employer is responsible for supplying PPE.
Can you be sacked for not wearing PPE?
Yes, if your employer has conducted a risk assessment and it is deemed you need to wear PPE such as safety glasses, a hard hat, and gloves for your own protection and you do not.
Your employer has every legal right to start disciplinary procedures against you, including excluding you from the workplace.
If you think a tribunal will save you, think again, you have broken the law by not wearing PPE if your employers tells you to.
Can I refuse to work without the correct PPE?
Yes, It is the responsibility of your employer to supply you with the correct PPE for your job. If the PPE does not fit properly, it could be dangerous, and you have every right not to work until your employer addresses the situation.
Do hard hats expire in the UK?
No. There is no expiration date for hard hats, but most companies recognise a need to replace hard hats.
If they change hard hats, it would be prudent to replace the hard hat 5 years from the date of manufacture or 3 years from the date of issue.
Most employers understand that hard hats have a tough life on construction site, and although it’s rare to be hit by a falling object, hard hats protect you from bumps depending on your trade.
However, there are no hard and fast rules for the employer to follow, only good housekeeping policies.
Can hard hats be recycled?
Yes. At the end of a hard hat’s life, they are segregated and shredded and then further granulated, making exposing their constituent parts a lot easier.
They will be melted, and maybe polymers will be separated to form some other plastic that may end up in your home or vehicle at some time in the future.
Most hard hat manufacturers provide a “cradle to grave” recycling solution for their products.