If you are involved in the purchasing of safety footwear or have to wear it yourself, you will see in data and spec sheets a number of different codes relating to the footwear. Picking the right safety footwear for your environment is vital and safety footwear codes will tell you important specifications and features of your footwear.
It is important to be aware of all the features of safety footwear to ensure that the shoe you choose is right, but do you know what all the different codes mean? Here, we break it down for you.
Safety Footwear and its features are tested according to European Standards. The latest, tougher, minimum requirements that safety footwear must be successfully tested against are:
EN ISO 20345: 2011
It is possible to find other EN ISO codes on footwear. Footwear designed before 2004 and still manufactured today meet EN ISO 20345:2004 ratings and footwear designed or retested after 2007 meet EN ISO 20345:2007 ratings. However, footwear that meets these requirements has not gone through as stringent testing as footwear that meets the most recent standards.
SB stands for Safety Basic, which is the basic safety standard for footwear. SB classed footwear must have a toecap that is protective to 200 joules. SB footwear may also have additional features that are characterised by other symbols (refer to other safety footwear symbols below to see these).
- S1 = footwear that meets the basic requirements of 200 joules toe cap protection plus is classed as antistatic, resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption in the heel area.
- S2 = in addition to 200 joule toe cap is classed as anti-static footwear. The sole is resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption in the heel area. It also has a water resistant upper.
- S3 = same features as S2 with the addition of midsole penetration protection. This can be a stainless steel insert in the sole, aluminium insert in the sole or by a kevlar insole.
- S4 = in addition to 200 joules toecap is classified as antistatic footwear. The sole is also resistant to fuel oil and has energy absorption in the heel area. It is waterproof and leak proof.
- S5 = same features as S4 with the addition of midsole penetration protection which can be a stainless steel insert in the sole, aluminium insert or the sole or by a kevlar insert.
Slip Resistant Ratings
Safety footwear has certain tests it must pass to be classed as slip resistant. There are three different levels of testing for slip resistance:
- SRA – Tested on a ceramic tile wetted with diluted soap solution (such as sodium lauryl sulphate)
- SRB – Tested on steel with glycerol
- SRC – Tested on both the above conditions (ceramic tile wetted with dilute soap solution and on steel with glycerol).
To read more about SRC testing read our blog here.
Other Safety Footwear Symbols
There are a number of additional symbols used to classify further features of safety footwear. These symbols and their meanings are:
- A - Antistatic
- AN – Ankle Protection
- C - Conductive
- CR - Cut Resistance Upper
- CI - Cold Insulation
- E - Energy Absorption
- FO - Resistance to Fuel Oil
- HI - Heat Insulation of Sole
- HRO – Heat Resistant Outsole
- I – Electricity Insulating
- M - Metatarsal Protection
- P – Midsole Penetration Resistant
- WR - Water Resistant
- WRU - Water Resistant and Water Absorption Upper
Now that you are fully up to date and have the knowledge of Safety Footwear codes, head on over to view our range of Safety Footwear and Wellingtons now!
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