Using the right safety footwear for your task and environment is crucial. See our brief guide to the protective features to think about when choosing your safety footwear. All styles that are classified as ‘safety footwear’ in Europe are tested to standard EN ISO 20345:2011.
Toe protection must withstand a 200 joule impact and offer compression protection of 1530 kgs. Safety footwear will either have a steel toecap or a non-metallic alternative. Non-metallic toecaps offer some advantages as they can be as strong as steel, yet much lighter. They are also ideal for workplaces with metal detectors such as airports as they allow safety footwear to be 100% non-metallic. Rockfall has a large range of safety footwear with protective fibreglass toecaps such as the RF440C Flint Safety Boot.
Sharp objects on the ground are a high risk in the workplace so midsole protection is important to protect against penetration by nails and other objects. Many safety boots have stainless steel and aluminium midsole inserts or composite anti-penetration protection. The Himalayan 3420 Safety Trainers have a steel midsole.
Anti Static Protection
Some footwear materials over insulate the body causing a charge to be held, which can then rush from your body causing a small shock. Anti static footwear significantly reduces the chance of this happening. The Himalayan 9710 Black Leather Shoe has antistatic safety features as well as a steel toecap and composite midsole.
If you are working in an area with electronic components you will need ESD (Electro-Static Discharge) compliant footwear which meets standard EN 61340-5-1. ESD footwear is used in electronics manufacturing processes to prevent damage to electronic components via an electrostatic discharge. The Rockfall Tesladri RF120 Safety Boots are certified to the highest ESD protection and are 100% non-metallic.
There are 3 ratings for safety shoes regarding slip resistance: SRA, SRB, and SRC. To achieve a SRA rating the shoe must be tested on a ceramic tile wetted with diluted soap. To achieve a SRB rating the shoe must have been tested on smooth steel with glycerol. Once a shoe has been tested and passed under both of these conditions it will achieve an SRC rating. SRC rated shoes offer the best chance of preventing a slip, trip or fall. The Himalayan 9952 White Microfibre Lace Boot has been certified with SRC Slip Resistance.
Waterproof/ Water Resistant
Most safety shoes and boots are classified as water repellent, however, this should not be confused with being waterproof or water resistant. WR – water resistant classified footwear is resistant to water penetration and absorption meaning that they can be worn in wet areas for sustained periods without leakage. The ProMan TC200 Waterproof Black PVC Washington Safety Wellington is fully waterproof making it ideal for use in areas with a constant presence of water or liquids.
Cold or Heat Insulation
Safety footwear classified as CL means it has been tested for cold insulation. The standard level is -17°C but footwear can be certified to -40°C to offer enhanced protection in cold environments. The Rockfall RF001 Alaska boot is ideal for wear in cold temperatures, thanks to its 3M Thinsulate B600 Ultra Fur Lining it is certified to -40°C.
Safety footwear can also be classified as HI where it has been tested for heat resistance to a minimum of 150°C. Footwear with a HI classification can be used in close proximity to hot surfaces. The Dr Martens 6654 Black Dealer Boots offer heat resistance to 300°C.
There are also a number of specialist classifications to look out for depending on your industry. These include electrical hazard certifications, chainsaw protection, chemical resistance and protection against thermal risks and molten metal splashes.
See our full range of safety footwear online at industrialscientific.co.uk. For guidance on choosing the right footwear for your application contact us email@example.com or fill in the contact form below and a member of our technical support team will get back to you.