For those who need a clear explanation of symbols or safety ratings attached to work boots, click here before having a wise buy!
Table of Contents
- Overview of Work Boot Safety Ratings and Symbols
- Safety Footwear Regulations – PPE
- The Safety Footwear Standard – EN ISO 20345:2011
- Basic Safety Footwear Symbols & Codes
- Explanations to Safety Ratings
- Safety Basic – SB
- Safety Basic & Midsole Penetration Protection – SBP
- Antistatic Protection – S1
- Antistatic Protection & Mid-sole Protection Against Penetration – S1P
- Preventing Water Penetration & S1 – S2
- Midsole Penetration Resistance & S2 – S3
- Leak-Proof & S1 – S4
- Midsole Penetration Resistance & S4 – S5
- Non-Slip/Anti-Slip Footwear Standards
- How To Choose The Best Safety Work Boots For You
Overview of Work Boot Safety Ratings and Symbols
A pair of high-quality work boots play a vital role in protecting you from dangerous impacts in your workplace. This means that safety should take precedence over other factors such as colors and styles. Though most people want to look good at their workplace, work boots meeting safety standards make their life safer and easier.
While you are offered various types of safety work boots in advertisements, symbols or safety ratings can help you understand whether they are suitable for your specific work conditions or not. Also, it is reliable for you to check the level of protection for your feet instead of grabbing any work boots that are probably not for you. This is why you should read the following content for educating yourself with more useful detailed information thoroughly.
Safety Footwear Regulations – PPE
Many people can not pay attention to this legislation, but it is set to require employers to keep their employers safe. Belonging to work regulations 1992, it covers Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) regulations or safety footwear from head to toes. So if you encounter that abbreviation somewhere, you can understand that there is a set of guidelines for protecting workers from hazards in working conditions.
The Safety Footwear Standard – EN ISO 20345:2011
When it is said that that kind of footwear met EN ISO 20345:2011, some people can understand that it is just a safety footwear standard without detail. Thus, it’s time to break its meaning here for your clearer acquisition.
In detail, the first abbreviation or EN shows that that standard is applied across Europe. ISO means the International Organization for Standardization that comes up with the minimum safety standards compulsory for all footwear PPE products. It was updated in 2011 for the newest version and label with an assigned legislation number (20345).
Based on that standard, safety footwear, including safety work boots, must protect the toes against a 200-joule impact. Several people can suppose that there are different rules for specific safety footwear due to their certain traits or functions. However, all of them have the same standards applied with the same codes and guidelines. As long as what you are wearing ensures your safety, please see whether they meet this standard or not.
Basic Safety Footwear Symbols & Codes
Have you ever been confused about symbols or codes labeled on your work boots and then given up understanding what they say about? If you can know them, you can identify the protective features assured by the bootmakers. Here is a comprehensive look at some safety footwear symbols and codes useful for you.
|CR||Cut Resistant Upper|
|FO||Fuel/Oil Resistant Outsole|
|HRO||Outsole is Resistant to Hot Contact|
|WRU||Water Penetration and Water Absorption Resistant Upper|
|ESD||Electro-Static Discharge Resistant|
Explanations to Safety Ratings
As a first-time buyer, letters and symbols printed on work boots for safety ratings can confuse you. It is hard for you not to understand the safety ratings immediately at first sight without identifying what parts are contained in the means. Because the safety ratings are described by an array of some specific above codes, acquiring them helps you to master what the safety ratings express for their levels of protection thoroughly.
In general, there are basic safety ratings including SB, SBP, S1, S1P, S2, S3, S4, S5 for each level of protection increasing. In addition, here are some letters and symbols that you can see on some kinds of safety work boots. For more information in detail, scroll down this session.
|SB||Safety Basic (Has Toe Protection)|
|SBP||As SB with additional Mid-Sole protection against penetration|
|S1||Anti-Static, Oil-Resistant and Energy Absorption|
|S1P||As S1 with additional Mid-Sole protection against penetration|
|S2||Prevents Water Penetration|
|S3||Midsole Penetration Resistance|
|S5||Leak-Proof with Midsole Penetration Resistance|
Safety Basic – SB
As the basic standard, this safety rating expresses that the footwear has toe protection. Because the toe area is one of the most vulnerable parts of your legs when you wear any footwear, your toes need to be kept safe in work boots from outside impacts. In detail, your work boots with that safety rating can be equipped with protective toe caps. These caps can withstand an impact of up to 200 joules and a resting mass well over 1000Kg.
Therefore, they can be made of steel, alloy, composite materials that are hard enough to prevent strong impacts. It depends on your working environment that you can consider suitable toe cap materials. In this safety rating, toe protection can come with other standards mentioned above. For example, except for SB, you can find SB-FO to add Fuel/Oil Resistant Outsoles or SB-P for adding Penetration Resistance in several safety work boots.
Safety Basic & Midsole Penetration Protection – SBP
It is easier for you to understand this rating safety because of the safety basics explained above and midsole penetration protection. In midsole penetration protection, sharp or piercing objects can be a big risk without having a protective midsole in your work boots.
Boots rated with this standard will ensure that you can protect your feet from nails, sharp objects, or glass from puncturing your boots and injuring your feet. In detail, they can be made of steel, aluminum, or Kevlar insoles and resist a penetration force of 1100N.
Antistatic Protection – S1
As explained above, antistatic protections can be shortly coded as A belonging to this safety rating – S1. There may be a build-up of static charge electricity in your body caused by surprising factors such as seating materials, clothes, the environment, and climate factors. If you don’t wear safety shoes in this rating, your body can suffer from an uncomfortable shock resulting from touching a conductive surface.
In contrast, wearing antistatic footwear can prevent that effect. Like SB, this safety rating can come with other symbols for throughout protection of footwear. For example, your boots can be rated with ElectroStatic Protection (ESD) against exposure to electricity and electronics or He
Antistatic Protection & Mid-sole Protection Against Penetration – S1P
This safety rating means that S1 footwear combines with midsole protection against penetration. Except for antistatic protection, your work boots can protect your feet from impacts by steel or composite plates in midsoles. As a result, it can reduce the penetration of objects from the under feet.
Preventing Water Penetration & S1 – S2
This safety rating consists of all of the aspects of S1 and adds the ability to prevent water penetration for the upper. As a result, it can come with other codes such as S1 and SB.
Midsole Penetration Resistance & S2 – S3
You can find aspects of S2 in S3 and adding a penetration-resistant midsole. Plus, it can come with other codes such as S1, S2, SB.
Leak-Proof & S1 – S4
Footwear rated S4 has the same level of protection as S1, but it adds a feature of leakproof. They are often made of polymer or rubber to prevent water penetration. Also, they can be upgraded with other codes for more safety standards.
Midsole Penetration Resistance & S4 – S5
As the highest level of safety ratings, this one encompasses all features of the S4 and adds more with midsole penetration resistance. As a result, these safety ratings can both be waterproof and leakproof. Besides, the midsole is designed to protect your feet well.
Non-Slip/Anti-Slip Footwear Standards
There are so many injuries caused by low-quality work boots, but slips can lead to serious accidents in your workplace. Hence, considering footwear rated with non-slip standards is essential for workers, especially in risky environments. Those standards come up with testing on two kinds of different surfaces and two optional tools (Pendulum Slip Test & Tribometer). Here are three anti-slip footwear standards for your reference.
|SRA||Slip resistance is tested on ceramic tile with Sodium Lauryl Sulphate|
|SRB||Slip resistance is tested on Steel plate saturated with Glycerol|
|SRC||Slip resistance is combined between SRA and SRB|
How To Choose The Best Safety Work Boots For You
First of all, you need to know well your working environments which contain explicit or implicit risks dangerous for yourself. While color and styles can make you look good at the workplace, the safety standards identified on your work boots will make them reliable for adequate protection. Reading codes and symbols can be hard for first-time buyers, but you will soon become a smarter buy.
As a result, understanding safety ratings will help you more to choose footwear suitable for the level of protection that you need in your own working conditions. Apart from the above safety ratings, there are more factors making your choice wiser. Imagine that you often work in the muddy area; lightweight work boots are a better choice than bulky ones.
Feet can be frozen or sweaty if there are no boot insulation ratings in your footwear or proper boot materials. Otherwise, getting the wrong size of work boots also causes lots of trouble in your workplace. Hence, choosing the safest and most comfortable work boots is a perfect consideration when you buy them.
What do the symbols on work boots mean?
There are so many different symbols printed on work boots for pointing out something. In general, it expresses the identification of quality for users’ safety. For example, a white letter named R in a blue square means that those boots have class 1 toe protection (125 joules), while a grey square with a black letter “R” in it shows that they have class 2 toe protection (90 joules).
What do safety boot ratings mean?
It depends on your working conditions, and the safety rating indicates the level of protection that you need in footwear. It contains safety standards ensured for workers to protect them from risky impacts and serious accidents like puncturing feet, slipping, electric shocks, etc.
What is the safety rating for work boots?
As mentioned above, you can encounter SB, SBP, S1P, S1, S2, S3, S4, S5 in some work boots for identifying the level of protection. They are in the form of different symbols containing letters and shapes that say about the ability of work boots to protect you from possible accidents in some workplaces.
What is the S3 safety rating?
The S3 safety rating is one of the safety standards for footwear. You can find aspects of S2 in S3 and adding a penetration-resistant midsole. Plus, it can come with other codes such as S1, S2, SB. For more information, you can scroll up this article and take a look at the content for the safety rating session.
What are Grade 1 safety boots?
Grade 1 is one of three CSA grades identified by the Canadian Standards Association as the highest protection and the only one acceptable in construction. In detail, it has the same features as S1P mentioned in this article. It protects feet from falling objects with steel toe protection and puncture-resistant soles. Also, grade 1 work boots feature metatarsal and dielectric protection.
What is the meaning of the green triangle for safety?
The green triangle labeled on work boots means that footwear has been tested and identified for class 1 toe protection up to 125 joules. The shoes with that symbol also have to puncture resistant soles.