Safety footwear: the standards and ratings explained
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. This was updated in 2011 to make it stricter.
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.
Any product certified under any previous version of the standard (2004; 2007) was required to be recertified.
Safety ratings explained
||EN ISO 20345 requirements
- For safety footwear with a toe cap resistant to an impact of 200 Joules
||Basic requirements +
- Closed heel area
- Energy absorption at seat area
- Antistatic properties
- Resistance to fuel oil
- Penetration resistance (P)
- Water penetration and absorption
- Penetration resistance
- Cleated outsole
- Entirely moulded polymer/rubber upper (e.g Wellington Boots) making them waterproof and leak proof
- Midsole penetration resistance.
Slip resistance ratings
Footwear that has passed tests for slip resistance will also have one of the following codes:
Tested on ceramic tile wetted with sodium lauryl sulphate (a diluted soap solution)
Tested on steel with glycerol
Tested under SRA and SRB conditions
P – Penetration resistance
C – Conductive
A – Antistatic
I – Electricity insulating footwear
WR – Water Resistance
M – Metatarsal Protection
AN – Ankle Protection
CR – Cut Resistant Upper
WRU – Water Penetration and Water Absorption Upper
HRO – Outsole Resistance to Hot Contact