Selecting the correct footwear for the hazard/risk
Knowing the specific needs of your workplace environment is a key consideration. Is there a potential risk from falling objects, sharp surfaces or metals, or are chemicals or electrical hazards another potential risk?
Refer to your risk assessment but also consider the following:
|Falling objects||Toe cap protection – steel or composite|
|Sharp objects/sole penetration||Steel or composite midsole protection|
|Metatarsal injury/crush risk||Metatarsal protector covering the bridge of the footwear|
|Cut protection (eg chainsaw)||Specialist chainsaw boots are available|
|Slippery surfaces||Non-slip sole|
|Acids/alkalis/chemicals||Acids/alkalis/chemicals resistant sole; know what type of acid/chemical is being used. Calling the supplier to check the footwear complies with requirements may be necessary|
|Heel/ankle support||Ankle protection; lace ups; shock absorbing heels|
|Molten metal||Foundry boots; calf protection|
|Extreme temperatures||Heat resistant soles; cold store boots/wellies (ensure insulation as well as breathable qualities)|
|Minor irritant substances||Rigger boots provide extra coverage|
|Biohazards||Easy-clean, machine washable|
|Long standing periods||Comfortable soles; insoles; shock-absorber heel|
|Wet/damp conditions||Safety wellingtons|
Source: adapted from Best Workwear
Selecting the correct footwear by use
As well as considering the hazards/risk involved in the job requiring safety footwear, procurers can also think about their industry – construction and healthcare sectors will have very different needs. For example:
|Agriculture||Protective toe caps and midsole; anti-static and anti-slip sole; waterproof||Safety wellingtons|
|Catering||Shock absorber heel; anti-slip sole; easy-clean/machine washable||Washable safety shoes|
|Construction||Protective 200 joule toe caps and midsole protection; secure fit; support||Standard safety boots|
|Cold store||Steel or composite toe cap and midsole; water resistant outer; sealed stitching; thermal lining||Cold store boot; specialist wellington|
|Foundry (welders)||Secure top preventing hot material falling onto feet; quick release buckles||Foundry boots; welder safety shoes|
|Forestry (chainsaw operators)||Good grip; protective guarding to the front, toe cap and midsole||Chainsaw boots (special hazard safety boots)|
|Healthcare||Non-slip sole; shock absorber heel; comfortable sole; easy-clean/machine washable||Washable slip on safety shoe/clog|
|Laboratory/chemical handling||Chemical resistance (to EN 13832-2; 13832-3)||Chemical resistant safety wellingtons; safety boots/shoes with chemical resistant sole for less hazardous environments|
|Warehouse||Protective toe cap; anti-static and anti-slip sole; oil and acid/alkali resistance||Safety boots/shoes to suit warehouse activities/environment|
Features & Benefits
Safety basic, 200 joules Toe Protection, Oil Resistant outer sole. (Minimum Requirement)
As SB plus Mid-Sole for penetration resistance.
As SB plus Anti-Static properties and fully enclosed Energy Absorbing heel area.
As S1 plus Mid-Sole for penetration resistance.
As S1 plus resistance to Water Penetration and absorption.
As S2 plus Mid-Sole for penetration resistance and cleated outsole
200 joules Toe Protection. All rubber or polymer construction (waterproof). Anti-Static properties, Energy Absorbing heel area.
As S4 plus Mid-Sole for penetration resistance and cleated outsole.