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The right safety footwear for different work places

On the market there is a wide choice of safety footwear, and more or less they look the same at first sight, but the truth is that there are a lot of differences between the different styles of safety footwear. My goal is to give you some explanation to help you finding the right safety footwear for different work places.

In this article I will try to give you an idea of what type of footwear you need related to your work area, your work environment and your needs in general. Of course it is not so easy to make a list of all types of work situations but I’d like to list you the most frequent.

I’m sure that it will help you to choose the right safety footwear for your needs.

The right safety footwear for different work places - Safety Shoes Today

Do you have to buy your safety footwear but you don’t know what characteristics you have to look for? Are you not sure but curious to know about the different work environments?

I will now explain to you some characteristics of different work environments so you’ll know what are the right safety footwear for different work places.

 

The right safety footwear for different work places

 

  • Safety footwear for cold environments: a cold insulating felt like Thinsulate is needed, a cold insulation outsole is needed, usually a good slip resistance is needed, usually riggers and rangers are preferred to ankle boots and shoes

 

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  • Safety footwear for wet environments: minimum a water resistant shoe is recommended, depending on the quantity of liquids and sprays it would be necessary to wear a waterproof membrane shoe (like Goretex or Sympatex), or polymeric  (rubber – PVC – neoprene – PU) boots, better choosing a good slip resistance boot, plain leather or microfiber are probably the best materials even if it is really depending on the quality of the leather tanning

 

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  • Safety footwear for women: small sizes are needed, a specific women last is needed, a feminine look would be preferable

 

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  • Safety footwear for foundry industry: Generally the outsoles are rubber nitrile for a better heat resistance, the leathers are thicker than normal shoes, the stitching is fire proof and there is presence of metatarsal protections. Quick release systems are necessary in case of accident.
  • Safety footwear for steel industry: as for the mechanical industry, sturdiness is the key point, so TPU or rubber nitrile outsoles are generally preferable. Depending on presence of greases and oils nitrile outsoles give better results, sturdy printed leathers or floor plain leathers are more performing in this type of applications. In some cases, if there is a risk of front impacts it would be necessary a metatarsal protection, that can be external or internal but not removable for getting the M certification. Side impacts are instead absorbed by an ankle protection made of hard plastics, or soft impact resistant materials as “Poron” or “D3O”

 

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  • Safety footwear for food industry: there are some features that are basic in the food industry. White colour is preferable because shows dirt so the shoes have to be cleaned, microfibers are more washable than natural leathers and more anti microbial, the presence of toe cap is not always requested, but slip resistance is a must. Outsoles can be of any type, they should be chosen depending on the type of work place, the most frequent for comfort are PU single density.
  • Safety footwear for hospital service: depending on the type of applications there is a wide range of products for hospital services, from clogs to slippers, usually white or green colour, usually without toe cap protection. Autoclavable clogs are used by surgeons. Safety toe caps are used from warehouse people especially in pharmacies. Generally microfibers are taking the place of natural leather due to a better resistance to fluids, blood and organic acids. The outsoles are usually mono density PU for lightness and comfort, but also PU/PU is also used.

 

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  • Safety footwear for roof works: there are specific ankle boots for this type of job. Usually red outsoles for non marking purposes on red roofs, flat design to have more grip. Usually the outsole is of rubber nitrile for a better grip and for resistance to hot surfaces.
  • Safety footwear for service industry: usually they are products made with mono density PU outsoles, with or without toe cap protection, usually non puncture resistant, leather is getting replaced more and more by microfibers, generally sanitized insoles are required. Lightness is the key.
  • Safety footwear for uniforms: depending on the type of uniform, usually non toes-protecting shoes (soft toe) and boots. Generally black colour and full grain leather. Side zipper on ankle boots and rangers are usually requested.

 

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  • Safety footwear for glassworks: there is a specific protection for this type of work, it is a kevlar cut protection underneath the leather for protecting against cuts
  • Safety footwear for chemical industry: if there’s presence of strong chemicals and acids, it is preferable to use rubber or polymeric boots (best is neoprene). There are some companies that make great chemical resistant leather shoes basically equipped with full rubber cemented outsoles and sturdy leathers. But shoes are usually less resistant than rubber and polymeric boots.

 

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  • Safety footwear for mechanical industry: sturdiness is the key point, so “TPU” or rubber nitrile outsoles are generally preferable. Depending on presence of greases and oils nitrile outsoles give better results, sturdy printed leathers or floor plain leathers are more performing in this type of applications. In some cases, if there is a risk of front impacts it would be necessary a metatarsal protection, that can be external or internal but not removable for getting the “M” certification. Side impacts are instead absorbed by an ankle protection made of hard plastics, or soft impact resistant materials as “Poron” or “D3O”
  • Safety footwear for military: depending on the type of squad, the colour vary from sand to khaki to black colour. Side zippers are mostly requested. Safety toe cap is not always needed. Metal free properties sometimes are a key point but in other cases a steel toe is required for best impact and compression resistance. Lightness, comfort and shock absorption are appreciated.
  • Safety footwear for first responders: generally ankle boots or rangers. Mostly without toe cap protection, colours are black with bright side colours like orange or yellow or red and reflective stripes to be more visible at night. Side zippers are requested many times for easy on easy off purposes. Non metallic parts are usually appreciated, waterproof membranes sometimes are requested not really for waterproof protection but for body fluids and blood contaminations protection.
  • Safety footwear for welders: there is a specific type of footwear for welders, with laces covered by a piece of non removable leather, with or without fireproof laces. Outsoles mainly in rubber nitrile, but depending on toughness of the job place also the other outsoles are accepted. Some styles have a quick release system to facilitate taking off the shoes in case of accidents. Metal free components are sometimes appreciated but not strictly necessary. Sometimes instead of welding shoes are used riggers for not having laces. 

 

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  • Safety footwear for waste management: steel toe cap and steel puncture resistant plate are suggested for the toughest conditions, the outsole should include a shank for protecting the foot while using truck stairs all day, a hard and strong and slip resistant outsole is strongly recommended for the tough conditions, plain leather also suggested for this type of job for a better liquids resistance

The right safety footwear for different work places - Safety Shoes Today

POLYMERIC BOOTS:

  • Safety boots for building industry
  • Safety boots for food industry
  • Safety boots for fishing, working and moving of fish products
  • Safety boots for refineries
  • Safety boots for forestry and agriculture

polymeric boots, usually the producers tend to give different colours to the boots to underline their different applications, some would also change some of their chemical components in the compound to have a better resistance to organic acids, fats, organic fluids, petroleum, salty water, concrete etc

 

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I hope that this list will help you to find the right safety footwear for your needs, and to help you being safer at work.

What do you think about the right safety footwear for different work places?

Do you have points to add?

Please write your comments below!

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