Changes in legislation in recent years have meant that personal protective equipment, including safety boots and shoes, is provided to workers free of charge by employers. However, with such an abundance of safety shoes on the market, it can be a daunting task to determine exactly what your employee’s need and which products meet the relevant tasks and worker requirements. Often, shoes are only described as “slip resistant” without describing the conditions for which the shoes is best suited.
When choosing shoes, in addition, to slip resistance, you need to consider several factors such as comfort, durability, and any other desired safety features such as toe protection. Even the HSE suggests that the final choice may have to be a compromise. Safety shoes – like all types of WMD – should only be used as a “last resort” when all other reasonable or practical measures have been taken to manage the risks. Before choosing safety shoes for women, you should consult the latest available risk assessment for the workplace you are buying, or do one if you don’t already have one (more on that below). The safety shoes you choose are critical:
· Compliance with legal standards
· Is the correct type of task/worker/environment
· All employees who wear it can use it properly
What are safety shoes?
Safety boots and safety shoes have different levels of protection. It is important to ensure the correct level of protection to ensure maximum protection based on the potential hazards involved. Risk of injury may include:
· Heavy object impact, resulting in crush injury
· Sharp objects – the risk of piercing the sole of the shoe
· Absorbs elements – such as water or oil
· Static build-up
· Extreme temperature
· When choosing safety shoes, consider the following:
· Material – Leather or Synthetic
· Indoor or outdoor use
· Temperature – hot or cold environment
· Climate – sunny, snowy, or rainy
· Hazard – The use of petroleum or chemicals.
How are safety boots and shoes classified?
Safety shoes are available in a variety of types/styles, including:
· Safety Boots: The most common type of safety shoe that contains a protective toe cap and many other safety features, including a non-slip sole, an anti-penetration midsole, and extreme thermal and cold insulation.
· Safety shoes: Like safety boots, they usually have a protective steel toe cap, although like safety boots, “metal-free” — so-called composite shoes — are available to be lighter.
· Safety sneakers: Perhaps considered more aesthetically appealing by the wearer, these look more casual. Some have steel toe caps, while others are plastic — called composite toe caps (as mentioned above).
· Assembly boots are a special type of slip-on safety boots. The name “fitters” comes from the fact that they are standard equipment for workers on North Sea offshore oil rigs, but they are now worn as general-purpose work boots by most types of manual workers. Concerns have been raised about this type of safety shoe, including the lack of ankle support.
· Women’s Collection: Women’s safety shoes in various styles (boots, shoes, sneakers) with key features required such as steel toe caps, heat-resistant midsole and oil-resistant sole.
· Remember: Manufacturers and suppliers play a key role in ensuring that the right products are available and that companies have the information that enables them to make the right choices.
Shock and Compression Ratings
When buying steel toe or composite boots/shoes, you must know the impact rating and compression rating:
· The impact rating is a number that tells you how many pounds of impact the kameymall shoe can protect against. For example, a boot with a75 impact rating can withstand a 75-pound impact. Safety toe boots have a minimum impact rating of I/50
· Compression rating is the amount of load a shoe can withstand before it cracks or breaks. For example, the C/75 can withstand compressive loads of up to 2,500 pounds. A pair of C/50 boots can resist compression loads of up to 1,750 pounds.
Comfort and convenience
The comfort and convenience of the wearer should be considered when choosing safety boots and shoes: staff should be consulted and given a level of discretion as appropriate before making a final choice. Shoes are worn for several hours a day, so it must be comfortable and safe; the fit must be correct to ensure both.
As mentioned above, consulting with the person wearing the PPE is essential to ensure that the correct PPE is selected and used, and maintained properly. Involving the end-user in fit, comfort, and wearability may lead to higher user acceptance and thus better protection.
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