An explanation about safety footwear
Choosing safety footwear can be a bit of a challenge, since there are so many things to consider when choosing footwear for work. Below, you can read an explanation of what the different terms mean, which you can use to help you choose footwear that best suits you and your needs. Remember to check any requirements regarding footwear and other safety equipment when you are in a place where work is going on.
Safety footwear is certified according to the European standard for safety footwear, EN ISO 20345:2011. Footwear certified according to this standard has, as a minimum, toe caps that protect against impacts of an energy level of at least 200 J (joule) and against compression (at least 15 kN, kiloNewton). This basic standard for footwear is called SB (see more information about standards below).
The toe cap protects the toes against falling objects and crushing. They come in steel, aluminium and fibre/composite and protect against impacts of an energy level of at least 200 J (joule) and against crushing (at least 15 kN, kiloNewton).
Steel: Steel toe caps with plenty of room for the toes.
Aluminium: 50% lighter than steel toe caps, but with the same properties.
Fibre/composite: 100% metal-free and good at insulating against heat and cold.
Penetration protection prevents sharp or pointed objects from penetrating the sole of the shoe. You can get penetration protection in steel, wood and fibre/composite, all of which meet the same ISO requirements. However, in places where this is especially likely to be an issue, you should choose steel penetration protection to ensure the highest degree of safety.
SRA: The outsole has been tested on ceramic tile wetted with a soap solution (sodium lauryl sulphate).
SRB: The outsole has been tested on steel with glycerol.
SRC: Slip-resistant. The outsole has been tested under SRA and SRB conditions.
P - Penetration protection.
A - Antistatic properties - from 0.1 MΩ to 1000 MΩ.
E - Shock-absorbing sole - minimum 20 J (joule).
WRU - Water-resistant upper.
WR - Water-resistant.
ORO - Oil-resistant outsole that can tolerate oil and certain chemicals without disintegrating.
FO - Oil and petrol-resistant outsole.
HRO - Heat-resistant outsole that can tolerate up to 300°C in one minute, which can help prevent injury.
ProNose - is an extra toe reinforcement of the upper or rubber cap affixed to the shoe that makes the footwear suitable for work involving kneeling, as it reduces direct wear on the toe.
Safety footwear when using chainsaws is certified according to the European standard for safety footwear, EN ISO 17249:2013. The foot protection must be boots or high-top shoes with slip-resistant soles, a cut-resistant layer and a toe cap that protects against heavy objects that fall onto the foot. The steel toe cap must be at least class S. The cut-resistant layer should be at least protection class 2 or 3.
The boots are categorised by chain speed:
Class 1 – 20 m/s
Class 2 – 24 m/s
Class 3 – 28 m/s
POPULAR SAFETY FOOTWEAR FROM DIFFERENT BRANDS
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