27.6% of accidents at work affect the extremities of the lower part of the body, and within this percentage, 60% of accidents happen to the feet, which is why it is essential to acquire the best possible safety footwear so that workers do not suffer injuries during their normal work.
A large number of accidents at work are due to the incorrect use of PPE or even their disuse.
A foot accident such as a burn, a cut or a fall from a heavy object can cause a worker to be out of work for an extended period of time, and suffer a more or less serious injury that can be permanent and disabling, even leading to the loss of the limb.
How to choose safety footwear?
A number of criteria, such as personal safety, aesthetics and comfort, must be taken into account when choosing the optimum and appropriate safety footwear.
In the case of working in Europe, it should be verified that the work footwear has CE certification, in addition to checking that it perfectly complies with the safety standards for each job.
We must differentiate between safety footwear and work footwear:
- Safety footwear EN ISO 345: safety toecaps with protection against collisions with an energy rating of 200 joules.
- Work footwear EN ISO 347: without safety toecaps.
Safety footwear according to the type of work
Safety footwear must be used in all sectors where there is a risk of foot damage. The appropriate type of footwear must be determined depending on the type of work:
- On construction sites and in mines, the best choice is S3 or with the WRU category footwear if walking in flooded areas.
- In the agri-food industry, it is generally done indoors and in a dry environment. In this case you should choose safety footwear type S1 or S1P. Depending on the type of coating of the area you may need footwear with SRA or SRB slip protection or cold or heat insulating soles.
- In laboratories, if there is a danger of spraying, footwear type S1 or S2 is required.
- In workshops, type S1 or S1P gives the required protection, although in each case it must be adjusted to the particular risks.
- In the automotive industry, footwear must protect against specific risks, such as those associated with welding machines. It is advisable to use S1 type footwear that is also HRO.
- In Agriculture, safety footwear must have a safety toe cap, and must have anti-slip, anti-static and water resistant characteristics.
- In Construction, safety footwear must have a 200J safety toe and puncture resistant midsoles.
Criteria for choosing your ideal safety footwear
- Safety toe cap: this is the most important element when selecting safety footwear. In fact, it is the component that determines this type of footwear. Technically, it is a reinforcement in the shoes that protects the toes against impacts with an energy level of 200 J.
- Durability: to ensure that safety footwear is very resistant, the materials used, the quality of the stitching and the bond between the sole and the body of the boot must be of high quality.
- Waterproof: if the working environment is damp or it is constantly raining, you should get safety boots that are ideal for these conditions.
- Insulation: useful for keeping your feet warm in a cold environment, but should only be used if you really need it.
- Slip-resistant: useful when the work area is slippery. Typically used in the food or manufacturing industry.
– Resistance to oils.
– Anti-microbial insoles
– Traction sole
– Anti-puncture insoles
– Ankle protection
– Abrasion resistance
Types of safety footwear
Safety boots are the most common type of work footwear used in the workplace. Features include a safety toe cap, usually made of steel, slip-resistant soles, insulation against heat and cold, and sharp object-resistant midsoles.
Safety footwear is lighter than boots, providing extra comfort but less protection. It is the ideal choice for those who need basic protection throughout the day.
Sports safety shoes
The great virtue of sports safety shoes is their comfort, and although they provide less protection, they are perfect for activities that involve continuous movement.
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