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What Do Traffic Controllers Wear?

Traffic controllers work on site, therefore the necessary personal protective equipment (PPE) is mandatory, as it would be for anyone employed in such an environment. As well as the obvious items, there are other pieces of kit that offer great benefits to traffic controllers, individuals who are usually outside and in the elements for long periods of time.


Traffic controllers will need a hard hat, which isn’t much of a revelation, as every construction site with the relevant risk assessment will require the use of one. A standard model will meet regulations, but traffic controllers may want to invest in a hat with a broad brim for sun protection, or a florescent strip/band when operating in the dark. Further UV protection can come by wearing a legionnaire hat that will save you from painful sunburnt skin.


When it comes to the body, traffic controllers should have one word in mind: visibility. They are required to wear fluorescent shirts, typically yellow or orange, with the necessary reflector strips. It’s also important to have your title of “Traffic Controller” readable on the back, and ideally front, of your shirt.

Alongside a high-vis top, you’ll need similar bottoms, meaning they should be full-length and feature reflective bands, typically dark blue in colour.


In accordance with construction site regulations, traffic controllers with need to wear steel toe-cap boots. As you’ll be outside and on your feet, investment in a quality, comfortable pair will make a huge difference to your work day.

Eyes and Ears

In areas with harmful air pollutants or contaminates, eyewear must be worn regardless of job position. However, for traffic controllers, you should use polarized sunglasses to protect eyes from prolonged exposure to the sun, while ensuring full vision for maximum safety.

As for your ears, working next to heavy machinery or loud road noise without ear protection will cause significant damage, therefore traffic controllers need to wear the appropriate earplugs in situations where the noise level enters a harmful decibel range.


UV rays don’t care whether you’re relaxing on the beach or working on site, so don’t think of sunscreen as an unnecessary precaution, especially for traffic controllers in Sydney sun. Apply proper-strength sunscreen to any areas of skin that are exposed and remember that, through the busy work day, it’s easy to forget you’ll need to reapply regularly, so traffic controllers should make time for this as well.


The requirements and aims of protective clothing are no different for Traffic controllers. PPE is designed to keep you safe and you should always consider these items as vital for the job as any signs, signals, cones or chevrons. 

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