When it comes to workplace safety, appropriate footwear plays a crucial role in protecting employees from potential hazards. In Europe, safety footwear standards are established to ensure the quality and reliability of protective footwear. One such standard is EN ISO 20345, which sets the benchmark for safety footwear across various industries. In this blog post, we will delve into EN ISO 20345, decoding its significance, and understanding the key features of safety footwear certified under this standard.
What is EN ISO 20345?
EN ISO 20345 is a European standard that specifies the minimum requirements for safety footwear to ensure the protection of workers in various industrial environments. It provides a comprehensive framework for manufacturers, retailers, and consumers to identify and select appropriate safety footwear based on specific workplace risks and needs.
Key Features of EN ISO 20345
- Toe Protection: Safety footwear certified under EN ISO 20345 must offer toe protection against impact and compression. The standard provides three levels of protection: 200 joules (J) for general industrial use, 100 J for light industrial use, and 50 J for low-risk environments.
- Slip Resistance: Footwear certified under EN ISO 20345 undergoes slip resistance testing to ensure a secure grip on various surfaces. This feature is particularly important in workplaces where the risk of slips and falls is high.
- Sole Penetration Resistance: The standard requires safety footwear to have a sole that provides protection against penetration by sharp objects. It sets three levels of resistance: P for low-risk environments, 200 J for medium-risk environments, and 1,100 J for high-risk environments.
- Heel Energy Absorption: EN ISO 20345 mandates that safety footwear should have sufficient shock absorption capacity in the heel region. This feature helps reduce the impact on the musculoskeletal system when walking or running on hard surfaces.
- Fuel and Oil Resistance: Safety footwear should be resistant to fuels and oils to minimize the risk of accidents caused by flammable or slippery substances. EN ISO 20345 specifies the criteria for determining fuel and oil resistance.
- Antistatic Properties: The standard requires safety footwear to possess antistatic properties to prevent the build-up of static electricity and minimize the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD). This is particularly important in environments where sensitive electronic equipment is present.
- Electrical Resistance: EN ISO 20345 sets requirements for electrical resistance in safety footwear. It categorizes footwear based on electrical resistance capabilities, providing options suitable for individuals working in the electrical and electronics industries.
- Water Penetration and Absorption: Safety footwear certified under EN ISO 20345 is tested for its resistance to water penetration and absorption. This ensures that workers’ feet remain dry and comfortable, even in wet working conditions.
|Offers impact and compression protection with three levels: 200 J, 100 J, and 50 J.
|Ensures a secure grip on various surfaces to prevent slips and falls.
|Sole Penetration Resistance
|Provides protection against sharp object penetration with three levels: P, 200 J, and 1,100 J.
|Heel Energy Absorption
|Absorbs shock in the heel region, reducing the impact on the musculoskeletal system.
|Fuel and Oil Resistance
|Resistant to fuels and oils, minimizing the risk of accidents caused by flammable or slippery substances.
|Prevents the build-up of static electricity and reduces the risk of electrostatic discharge (ESD).
|Offers options suitable for individuals working in electrical and electronics industries.
|Water Penetration and Absorption
|Tested for resistance to water penetration and absorption, keeping feet dry in wet conditions.
EN ISO 20345 serves as a vital reference point for employers, safety managers, and workers to ensure that the safety footwear they choose meets the necessary protective standards. By understanding the key features and requirements of this European standard, stakeholders can make informed decisions regarding the selection and procurement of safety footwear, thereby prioritizing workplace safety.
Remember, safety should always be a top priority in any work environment. Compliance with EN ISO 20345 provides peace of mind, assuring workers that they are adequately protected against potential risks and hazards. So, whether you work in construction, manufacturing, or any other industry that requires protective footwear, make sure to look for safety footwear certified under EN ISO 20345, and step confidently towards a safer work environment.