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The type of safety helmet and in which sector they should be used?

Safety helmets (also known as hard hats) can protect the head and brain from injuries caused by falling objects or debris, impact on other items, electric shock, and rain. Most head injuries are preventable if the proper headgear is chosen, used, and maintained.

Helmets are essential and required on almost all construction sites and manual labor environments. The most common and fundamental type of PPE is industrial safety helmets.

They will include the following components aimed at providing good head protection:

  • Shell

  • Harness

  • Headband

The outer shell is usually made of polyethylene, with the inner harness featuring a system of polyethylene strips or woven bands. The headband has adjustment mechanisms that allow it to be worn at different heights and lengths to increase stability.

Selecting the Best Safety Helmet

Safety helmets are only required when necessary, so if a risk assessment reveals no risks of head injuries, they do not need to be worn. However, different construction sites may have their own set of rules. If a risk assessment identifies the possibility of head injury, then safety helmets are required, regardless of the nature of the construction work.

Safety helmets used on construction sites must meet some standards, which include stringent tests for impact resistance and flame retardance, among other things. Employees or visitors to a construction site should be given a safety helmet by their employer or the general contractor.

The amount of protection provided by a safety helmet depends on the activity. A construction helmet, for example, cannot be used for demolition work because it does not offer the same level of protection.

There is no one-size-fits-all helmet, and there are several trade-offs you have to examine when deciding which is best for a work environment. The first consideration is the trade-off between performance and comfort.

High-performance helmets are relatively heavy, and while they provide maximum protection, unsupervised wearers may be tempted to remove the more cumbersome designs, leaving them with no protection. So balancing protection with comfort may be necessary to ensure compliance.

In general, the following safety helmet colors are commonly used:

White is reserved for the manager, engineer, foreman, supervisor, and process operator.

  • Red - for the safety officer and the firefighting team

  • Green - for the first aid team, the safety inspector, and the new worker

  • Blue - for all-purpose labor

  • Yellow - for guests

  • Orange - for maintenance workers, technicians, and lab analysts

On all new (and existing, if possible) sites, construction sites and highways should use the following color scheme:

  • White - For site managers, skilled workers, and vehicle marshals

  • Black - For site managers.

  • Orange - For signalers and slingers.

  • Blue - For the rest of the site's visitors.

The PPE standard for Network Rail mandates only white and blue safety helmets to be worn on the job. Stickers are used to identify workers with additional responsibilities, such as a trained first aider or fire marshal. A safety helmet color standard may be impractical on smaller sites. In these cases, guidelines recommend that a default color of white should be used as a general practice.

Color Code for Safety Helmets in India

  • White: Managers, Engineers, Supervisors, and Foremen should wear white.

  • Blue: for electricians, carpenters, and other technical workers other than civil servants

  • Green: for Officers of Safety

  • Red: firefighters

  • Yellow: for work

  • Brown: for Welders and workers who work with high heat.

  • Grey: intended for site visitors

Malaysian Safety Helmet Color Code:

The Malaysian Ministry of Human Resources, and the Department of Occupational Safety and Health, do not specify color standards for safety helmets. It simply states that safety helmets must be highly visible during the day.

Color Code for Safety Helmets in Singapore:

  • White: owner, architect, engineer, and their site staff

  • White with red stripe: main contractor, site agent, foreman, and other site supervisors

  • Yellow with red lines: subcontractor and subcontractor supervisory staff

  • Blue: site safety supervisor

  • Yellow: other workers.

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