Workers who are required to be on their feet for long periods of time can find they become sore and painful. Problems such as bunions, blisters and plantar fasciitis can occur and may be caused by or, at the very least not helped by, wearing poorly fitting or uncomfortable footwear.
While comfort is always key, some work requires workers to wear specific footwear to protect their feet from risks relating to cuts and punctures, falling objects, slipping, metal and chemical splash, electrostatic build-up and wet environments. Where these risks are present, employers are legally required to provide appropriate protective footwear.
Making the right choice of safety footwear
As a leading UK supplier of PPE and workwear, Contego Safety Solutions supplies a wide range of safety boots for a variety of working environments, meeting all relevant industry safety standards. The many standards relating to the different types of safety footwear can make it difficult to know which footwear is suitable for which workplace environment or application.
The key step to ensuring you provide the right footwear for your workforce is to assess which hazards and risks are present in the workplace. This can be done by coinducting a comprehensive workplace risk assessment. Once you have identified the hazards,you will be able to see which industry standards apply and find footwear that meets those standards.
Key industry standards relating to safety boots
In addition to the main industry standard, EN ISO 20345:202, there are additional specialist classifications relating to the use of safety shoes and boots in the workplace. Our Guide to Protective Footwear provides detailed information on all the standards but in brief:
- EN ISO 20345:2021(which replaced EN ISO 20345:2011) is the main industry footwear standard. It includes a range of protective categories relating to impact and compression protection, resistance to slipping, water repellency, resistance to cold, resistance to heat and metatarsal protection. Each category has a unique code and safety footwear can carry more than one code.
- Additional safety footwear classifications include:
– water resistance (WR)
– cold insulation (CI)
– heat insulation (HI)
– additional ankle protection (AN)
– cut resistance (CR)
– metatarsal protection, also known as Met or Meta Guards
– protection against electrical hazards
– protection against electrostatic discharge
– protection against thermal risks and molten metal splash
– protection against chainsaw cutting
Get the right safety footwear for your employees
As an employer it’s important to remember that different tasks require safety boots and shoes and employees must be provided with appropriate personal protective equipment for the work they do. Always base your choice of safety footwear on the most severe hazard that employees will face, as this will ensure you are industry standard compliant. Providing the correct equipment for your employees also means they can do their jobs safely, efficiently and to the highest standard.
Contego Safety Solutions stocks a wide range of corporate workwear, protective clothing and PPE, including our WEARMASTER® range. We also provide a bespoke uniform design and manufacturing service to ensure that you get precisely what you are looking for in a company uniform.
The friendly and expert team at Contego Safety Solutions is always on hand to give advice and guidance on the right PPE and protective clothing for your needs. Contact us now on 0800 122 3323 or email@example.com to discuss your requirements.