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HSE Standards, Abbreviations, Top Tips and more from PPE Suppliers Ltd

Safety Boots from PPE Suppliers Ltd: we sell a wide variety of safety footwear, including safety boots, safety shoes, safety wellingtons, rigger boots and specialist safety footwear such as metatarsal boots, electrical hazard and foundry boots. As we are a safety equipment supplier we only sell safety boots and not non-safety boots. But when it comes to value for money - for well-proven safety boots - we really excel. Below we have included some extremely useful information on safety boots, the standards which exist within this product category, the abbreviations which denote what standards the footwear adheres too, and also helpful stuff like maintenance. We have even listed some top tips from the HSE to avoid slips, trips and accidents.
SAFETY FOOTWEAR ABBREVIATIONS HI – Insulation against Heat CR – Cut Resistant Upper WRU – Water Penetration and Water Absorption Upper HRO – Outsole Resistant to Hot Contact FO- Fuel Oil- Resistant Outsole CI – Insulation against the Cold WR – Water Resistant M- Metatarsal Protection AN – Ankle Protection P- Penetration resistant C – Conductive A – Antistatic I – Electricity Insulation Footwear E – Energy Absorption
All safety footwear must meet the minimum safety standards set out by the International Organization for Standardization (ISO). The current standard for Safety Footwear across Europe (EN) is EN ISO 20345:2011. Under this standard, all safety footwear must now have toe protection against a 200 joule impact. This is the amount of energy the toe region can absorb before breaking. All new products must be manufactured and certified under EN ISO 20345:2011.
Top tips Accidents are expensive – there are many hidden and uninsured costs. With footwear, like any product, you tend to get what you pay for. Ensure you buy footwear which will do the job – this will not necessarily be the cheapest. But it may be more comfortable or attractive and it may last longer. Specify the main surfaces and contaminants which cause slip risks in your workplace, and seek your supplier’s advice on suitable footwear. Some generally slip-resistant footwear may not be suitable in specific demanding conditions. For example, footwear that performs well in the wet might not be suitable on oily surfaces or where there are sticky food spillages which clog up the cleats.
The sole tread pattern and sole compound are both important for slip resistance. Generally a softer sole and close-packed tread pattern work well with fluid contaminants and indoor environments. A more open pattern works better outdoors or with solid contaminants. The only sure way to tell is to trial footwear in your environment.
Maintenance Tread patterns should not become clogged with any waste or debris on the floor – soles should be cleaned regularly. If soles do clog up then look for an alternative design of sole, e.g. with a wider space between the cleats and a deeper tread pattern. Slip resistance properties can change with wear; for example, some soles can deteriorate with wear, especially when the cleats become worn down. Have a system for checking and replacing footwear before it becomes worn and dangerous. Footwear which has passed the EN test for slip resistance will be marked with one of the following codes, SRA, SRB or SRC. The codes indicate that the footwear has met the specified requirements when tested as follows: SRA – tested on ceramic tile wetted with dilute soap solution; SRB – tested on smooth steel with glycerol; SRC – tested under both the above conditions.
HSE – Health and Safety Executive Choosing slip-resistant footwear from the whole host of products on the market can be difficult. Sole descriptions are varied, from ‘improving the grip performance’ to ‘excellent multi-directional slip-resistance’. Often, footwear is just described as ‘slip-resistant’ and the brochure does not describe the conditions for which the footwear is most suitable. Footwear selection has to take account of a number of factors in addition to slip resistance, such as comfort, durability and any other safety features required, such as toe protection.
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