Safety footwear is part of the personal protective equipment (PPE) intended to provide a certain level of foot safety against the risks arising from carrying out any work activity.
According to a study conducted in 2018, fatalities due to accidents at work in Spain increased by 5.5% compared to the previous year, so having quality personal protective equipment is extremely important.
it is usual for workers to have doubts about what type of footwear they should use
Through this guide you will learn about the most common types of safety footwear used by workers depending on the level of safety they need.
Types of safety footwear
Integral safety footwear or SB
Integral safety footwear is also known as industrial shoes. This type of footwear for professional use covers the toe area with a safety toe cap that protects against impacts with an energy equivalent to 200 Joules, and against compression with a load of 15 Kilonewtons.
The nomenclature for basic all-round safety footwear is SB, which is further divided according to the additional requirements covering the shoe.
Safety footwear S1
This type of footwear is one of the most accepted because it is recommended for electricians, mechanics or craftsmen among others.
S1 safety footwear must be resistant to abrasion and corrosion. In case the safety toecap is metallic, it must also have anti-static properties, an energy-absorbing heel and resistance to hydrocarbons.
Within S1 safety footwear we find S1P safety footwear, which is considered the market leader. Its most common use is in activities carried out in dry places, such as workshops.
In addition, this type of safety footwear is also the perfect choice in case there are nails on the floor that may pose a hazard.
This is due to their anti-puncture sole, which in addition to being non-slip, has a shock absorption system that reduces the energy transmitted when we strike with the heel.
By this form, we manage to avoid the possible damage that impact may cause to the worker in the long term, also reducing the instantaneous pain that an occasional accident may produce
S2 safety footwear
Although this type of footwear is very similar to S1, the difference lies in the fact that in this type of footwear there are more properties, such as water absorption and resistance to penetration.
S2 safety footwear is most commonly used with a high wedge, also known as safety boots or work boots.
It is ideal for environments with high levels of humidity, such as storage and transport work in the food industry or construction activities, among others.
S3 safety footwear
S3 safety boots will resist puncturing of the safety sole when subjected to 110 kg of force, and also have corrosion resistance in case the safety sole is made of metal.
In addition to this, by having the sole raised, the S3 safety shoe is the most used in adverse work situations, such as mining, agriculture, factories or construction.
There are also categories S4 and S5 which are plastic work boots, usually made of rubber or PVC material, which are used in very wet or liquid environments.
Which safety footwear is the best for me?
Once you know what safety boots are and what types of safety footwear exist, it is time to identify which footwear is the most suitable in each case
The first thing to do is to contemplate what risks workers are exposed to in the workplace.
For example, if you identify a falling object, crushing, or puncture hazard, you should indicate the approximate weight, height of fall, or speed at which the object falls to determine the level of risk in the event of an accident.
Other factors such as humidity in the workplace, contact with water or temperature are also important when choosing the most effective type of safety footwear.
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Do you know what type of safety footwear you shoul use depending on the working conditions in each case? Leave us in the comments if you have any questions or queries.
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