Factory Processor’s Bump Hat

The factory inside a large trawler like the Alaska Ocean is filled with equipment for filleting, processing, freezing, and packing enormous quantities of fish. Workers are trained in safety procedures and also wear protective headgear and earplugs as they work. While not required to wear certified safety helmets like the fishermen on the weather deck, they wear bump hats molded from high-density polyethylene for protection from minor bumps and bruises.
This yellow bump hat was worn by Thelma McFarland, a fish processor, who was working her third season aboard the Alaska Ocean in 2007. She wore it over a disposable hairnet, which covered and held her hair in place, a requirement for maintaining sanitary conditions in the factory. There are typically four factory shifts, and the bump hats are color-coded according to each shift—blue for A, yellow for B, green for C, and orange for D shift. The color-coding allows managers to quickly assess the number of workers that will be needed on extra kicker shifts. The lead managers in each area wear red bump hats.
Object Name
hard hat
bump hat
date made
Associated Date
McFarland, Thelma
Physical Description
plastic (overall material)
overall: 4 3/4 in x 7 1/4 in x 11 in; 12.065 cm x 18.415 cm x 27.94 cm
Place Made
United States: Kentucky, Cynthiana
Associated Place
United States: Alaska
United States: Pacific Coast
United States: Washington
North Pacific Ocean
Bering Sea
ID Number
catalog number
accession number
Industry & Manufacturing
Natural Resources
Clothing & Accessories
On the Water exhibit
Contemporary United States
See more items in
Work and Industry: Maritime
On the Water exhibit
On the Water
Data Source
National Museum of American History, Kenneth E. Behring Center
Credit Line
Alaska Ocean thru Jeff Hendricks
Publication title
On the Water online exhibition
Publication URL

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