What Color Coded Hard Hats at India’s Metro Construction Sites Tell Us

Whenever we see someone wearing a protective hard hat (helmet) in or around a metro rail construction site, most of us instantly come to the conclusion that the person must be a construction worker who toils hard to earn a daily wage. Well that’s not quite true and there’s more to it than you imagined.

According to the safety guidelines laid down by various nodal agencies (eg. DMRC, BMRCL) executing Metro projects throughout the country, all men & women in an active construction site must wear boots (or sturdy shoes), reflective jackets and an appropriate hard hat to help in identification by other personnel. By “appropriate hard hat”, I’m referring to its color which reveals the the role & hiring company of each person wearing one.

Here are two images which show the united colors of India’s metro construction sites. Take a good look at how many colors there are.

Photo Copyright: The Hindu

Photo Copyright: The Hindu

Photo Copyright: MD Namma Metro

Photo Copyright: MD Namma Metro

Now that you’ve seen the colors, here’s a cheat-sheet of what they reveal about the hard hat wearer’s role in the project:

• White – Nodal agency’s management, staff & site visitors
• Purple – Engineers & supervisors hired by the civil construction contractor
• Grey – Quality consultants, designers & architects
• Blue – Engineers & supervisors hired by the subcontractor
• Yellow – Construction workers
• Red – Electricians
• Orange – Traffic marshals & security guards at site entrances
• Green – Safety professionals

The colors with a condensed list of roles can be seen on this barricade painted outside a construction site in Delhi:

Painted on a site barricade - Photo Copyright: Mayank Austen Soofi

Painted on a Delhi Metro site’s barricade – Photo Copyright: Mayank Austen Soofi

So the next time you’re in or around a metro construction site, you now know how to identify each person just by simply looking at the color of their hard hat.

For more information on India’s metro systems, please visit the Home Page of The Metro Rail Guy!


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Global traveler who prefers mass rapid transit

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