Choose the Right Footwear
There are many different kinds of safety footwear made to protect the wearer from various hazards in the workplace.
 
Whilst the protection is at the forefront of a decision when purchasing, other attributes need to be taken into consideration such as the type of environment the footwear will be worn in, whether the wearer will be standing for long periods of time, comfort and hygiene and of course style and design.
 
With the correct footwear chosen, a wearer will often be free from foot, leg and back pain thus enabling more productivity in the workplace.
 
Legislation
The European legislation in force since 1993 distinguishes the type of footwear according to the level of risk, establishing the specific requirements for each category.
 
1. Safety footwear EN ISO 20345:2004/A1:2007
- category S (SAFETY). These are provided with toe caps made to give protection against knocks up to an energy level of 200 joules and against the risk of crushing with a maximum load of 15.000 N.
 
2. Protective footwear EN ISO 20346:2004/A1:2007
- category P (PROTECTION). These are provided with toe caps made to give protection against knocks up to an energy level of 100 joules and against the risk of crushing with a maximum load of 10.000 N.
 
3. Occupational footwear EN ISO 20347:2004/1:2007

- category O (OCCUPATIONAL). They are not provided with protective toe caps. The pierce resistant sole guarantees resistance to perforations of up to a load of 1.100 N. The identification symbol is P.

Slip Resistance
Slips, trips and falls are a worrying hazard within work places, therefore stringent testing is taken place to ensure that footwear meets a minimum requirement. New styles of footwear undergo periodic re-testing to the standard of EN ISO 13287 which has the ratings of SRA, SRB and SRC. These details are as follows:

 

Slip resistance - Norm: EN ISO 2034X:2007 (where X= 5 o 6 o 7)
SymbolStandard Requirements
SRA
Testing ground: ceramic
Lubricant: cleanser
≥0.32 flat footwear
≥0.28 footwear with a 7° heel incline
SRB
Testing ground: steel
Lubricant: glycerine
Until 31/12/2008
≥0.16 flat footwear
≥0.12 footwear with a 7° heel incline
From 01/01/2009:
≥0.18 flat footwear
≥0.13 footwear with a 7° heel incline
SRC Both requirements stated above
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