A Guide to Buying Safety Footwear

Wherever you work your employer should make sure your working environment is as safe as possible but for certain jobs where it is not possible to remove all risks you need to take extra safety measures. Safety footwear is one such measure and is vital to your own health and welfare and should meet strict standards of safety like those covered by EN ISO 20345. For certain specific jobs where there are increased hazards then specialist protective equipment will be needed which is not covered in this guide.

When choosing your footwear you need to consider a few important things. Firstly the requirements of the area you work in, your employer can help you here. Next do you need a full spec boot style or are you moving from an office to PPE (Personal Protective Equipment) area so need a shoe style so that your feet are adequately protected but you do not need to keep swapping from office shoes to safety boots each time you head out on site or on to the shop floor. Once you have this information you can choose the style and specification that suits you. Make sure that whatever you wear is comfortable as you will be wearing them all day.

Types of safety footwear range from rigger boots to safety trainers. Rigger boots are typically a full height boot commonly used on construction sites with a protective toe and sole plate to prevent penetration in to the boot from such things as nails left in timber. They are generally also leather with a waterproof coating to give greater wear and protection. Safety boots are general purpose work boots with steel toecaps and in some cases a reinforced steel mid sole that give good protection in a variety of general environments. Safety wellingtons are another staple of the construction industry due to their ability to protect the wearer from burns associated with cement when pouring concrete as well as being completely waterproof. Next on the list is the protective work shoe that gives convenience and extra protection. A new set of additions to the range of choices available are safety trainers and safety hiking boots which offer the same toe protection given by traditional boots and shoes but are lighter, more flexible and have better grip making them ideal for warehousing and some cleaner trades where foot penetration risks are extremely low.

Many major brands from both footwear and tools and equipment markets produce their own ranges like Dewalt, Caterpillar and Black and Decker to name but a few. But whatever style or brand you choose your feet are extremely important and need protection make sure that you choose the right footwear to keep them, and you, safe.