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What Makes Safety Boots So Important?

by lonnieconklin Lonnie lonnieconklin Conklin (2022-02-27)

The changes in legislation over the last few years mean that PPE (including safety boots and shoes) is provided by the employer for free to the employee. However, with the abundance of safety footwear available on the market, it's a daunting task working out the exact requirements of your workforce and which products are suitable for the work and people involved. The descriptions for soles are diverse in terms of 'improving grip' to 'excellent multi-directional slip-resistance'. In most cases, footwear is described as slip-resistant, but without providing any details of the conditions under which the footwear is most suitable.

When you are choosing a pair of shoes, you need to take into account several factors in addition to slip resistance, like the comfort, durability and any other safety features needed for example, toe protection. The HSE suggests that the final choice may have to be a compromise.

Safety footwear - as with other types of PPE - is to be employed as a last resort' when all other sensible or practical steps have been taken to reduce the risk. Before selecting safety footwear it is recommended to consult the most recent risk assessment for the workplace you are buying it for, or even take one out if it does not exist (more on this below).

Browse the guide using the links below:

- What is safety footwear?

- How are safety footwear and safety boots classified?

- Different levels of protection

- Picking the right booties that are safe for you business

- Evaluating safety boot and footwear suppliers/manufacturers

- meeting the demands of your workforce

- Floor surface type

- Inspection and maintenance

- Conclusion

- References

What is safety footwear?

Safety boots and safety footwear provide different levels of protection. It is essential to choose the correct level of protection dependent on the hazards associated to ensure the highest protection.Injury risk could involve:

- Impact by heavy objects can cause crush injuries

- Sharp objects - chance of puncturing sole

- the absorption or absorption of some elements - like water, or oil

- the build-up of static electricity

- Extreme temperatures

- When selecting safety footwear, take into account these aspects:

- Ensure Footwear Complies to EN ISO 20345 Standards (see below)

- Material - leather or synthetic

- Indoor or outdoor use

- Temperature - temperatures that are cold or hot

- Weather - sun snow or rainy conditions

- Hazards - the use of oil, and chemical use.

- What are the different types of safety footwear and safety boots classified?

- Safety footwear is available in a variety styles and types, such as:

Safety boots: the most common type of safety footwear, incorporating protective toe-caps with many other safety features including slip-resistant soles, penetration-resistant midsole and insulation against extremes of heat and boots supplier : like safety boots, these usually have protective steel toe-caps although, as with safety boots, are available 'metal free' - so-called composite footwear - which are lighter.

Safety trainers: possibly thought of as more attractive by those who wear them They are more casual in appearance. Some of them have toe caps made of steel while others are made of plastic - known as composite caps (as in the previous paragraph).

Riggers: they have been described as 'a true stalwart among industrial-grade footwear'4. A rigger's shoe is a particular type of safety boots that are pulled-on; the name "rigger" comes from the fact that they were standard option for workers on offshore oil rigs in the North Sea, but are nowadays worn by most types of manual workers as a general purpose work boot. The concerns with this type shoe for safety have been discussed with regards to the lack of ankle support.

Wellingtons: usually constructed of rubber and designed to work in damp conditions they are also used in jobs where the footwear must be cleaned and disinfected to ensure hygiene for example, in the food industry and chemical industries.

Clogs may be worn as safety footwear. They are generally made of beech wood. They may also include steel toe-caps and rubber soles with thin ridges for more quiet tread.

Ladies' ranges of safety footwear for women in a range of styles (boot or shoe, trainer) with the required key features such as steel toe caps, heat resistant midsoles, and oil-resistant soles.

For footwear for health conditions (eg plantar fasciitis; diabetes) See below for more information.

Be aware that both suppliers and manufacturers play a major role in ensuring that appropriate products are in stock and that businesses are equipped with the knowledge to allow them to make the best decision.