Every type of work has its characteristics and every worker should wear the right safety shoes for his profession. In this article I will talk about safety footwear for welders and the steel industry.
There are specific types of safety footwear for welders and the steel industry that almost all workers use.
In this article I will tell you something about these types of Safety footwear for welders and the steel industry, and more in particular:
1. work environments
3. protections needed
4. components used in safety footwear for welders and the steel industry
5. products to search
1) work environments
There are welders almost in every industry, some of them are full time welders, whereas others have to do it a few times a day or just occasionally. Of course a full time welder takes the highest risks of burns from welding sparks, but this doesn’t mean that an occasional or part time welder has to be less careful or use less protective footwear.
Every worker should be protected 100% when an accident occurs. On many occasions a welder has to work in all kinds of areas, dirty, greasy, dusty, and often he has to work on his knees or on the steps of a stair.
Of course there are also welders in the steel industry. The steel industry has different working areas, from the loading of rough materials, to ovens, to product finishing, to warehousing, to maintenance. The working conditions in the steel industry are simple: presence of dust, of oil and water, sharp steel pieces on the ground, huge enormous tools everywhere, steel surfaces to walk on, mixed with cement or even rough surfaces.
The presence of dust, water and oils creates mud in some areas.
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The 10 risks that a good article of safety footwear for welders and the steel industry has to protect you from, are:
- slipping on oils, mud, dust, wet floor
- you can hit tools with your feet
- heavy, falling objects can smash your toes or your instep
- you can get a compression on the toe area by a forklift or a truck
- you can get burns from welding sparks
- liquids and mud infiltrations into the shoes
- oils and greases infiltrations into the shoes
- ankle sprains
- cuts on the side of your footwear or feet caused by sharp steel pieces
- perforation of the sole (and possibly of the foot) caused by a sharp steel piece
As you can see there is a variety of risky situations that can cause severe damages. Working safely is your right and your due, so you really need to choose a good article of safety footwear for welders and the steel industry.
3) protections needed
The 10 most important types of protection are:
- slip resistant safety footwear
- safety footwear with toe cap impact resistance with steel, aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber or composite toe cap
- metatarsal safety footwear
- safety footwear with toe cap impact resistance with steel, aluminum, fiberglass, carbon fiber or composite toe cap.
- welders safety footwear
- Water resistant safety footwear. In case of abundant water then waterproof safety footwear, or even polymeric rain boots are recommended
- Water resistant safety footwear. In case of abundant water then waterproof safety footwear, or even polymeric rain boots are recommended. Some users prefer to use welders safety footwear for the extra protection offered by the laces covering, or even rigger safety boots.
- ankle boots or rangers safety footwear
- cut resistant safety footwear
- “PR” puncture resistant safety footwear
4) components used in the safety footwear for welders and the steel industry
Safety footwear for welders and the steel industry is built based on some technical tricks in order to make the shoes sturdier and to protect the user against the hard conditions of such environments. Let me show you some of the most common construction tricks used to increase the resistance of safety footwear for welders and the steel industry:
- outsole materials: the best outsole is PU/rubber, EVA/rubber or mono density rubber. EVA/rubber is the lightest, PU/rubber is the most common whereas single density rubber is the toughest. Rubber is normally the most resistant to chemicals, heat, slipping, and abrasion; it is often joined with PU or EVA to lighten the footwear, as pure rubber is a bit heavy. Your choice should depend from your needs, that is, whether you are looking for a compromise between lightness and protection or you just need the best possible protection and sturdiness.
- toe caps: steel would be recommendable for its sturdiness, and aluminum for being lighter, but also plastic materials are largely used because they don’t transmit heat
closing and quick release systems: welder boots have usually Velcro or buckle closing systems. Some products also have quick release systems that help to get the shoes off quickly in case of accident.
- puncture resistant “PR” plates: you can choose between steel or textile materials. Steel is better against sharp and very thin objects, but on the other side steel plates cover only about 85% of the surface of the outsole, while the textile plate covers all the surface. Moreover, textile plates are more flexible and non-metallic so they don’t transmit heat.
- overcap: an overcap is normally preferable, because it brings that extra protection to the toe box area, which in such kind of work environments can make your footwear last longer.
- stitching: usually safety footwear for welders and the steel industry is built with normal seams, but a few of them have Kevlar flame resistant stitching for an extra protection
5) products to search
The products that I recommend that you search are:
- Water resistant and rubber outsole heat and slip resistant ankle boots
- Waterproof and rubber outsole heat and slip resistant ankle boots
- Cut resistant and water resistant and rubber outsole heat and slip resistant ankle boots
- Foundry boots
Once you’ll have selected over the many safety footwear for welders and the steel industry you will be protected at work.
I guarantee you that if you use the right safety footwear for welders and the steel industry you’ll live a better working experience.
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