Now that you’ve identified the potential hazards and the level of risk and hazard they can pose to your employees, you can decide what safety features are required in team footwear.
There are many types of safety shoes, all designed for a variety of working conditions. Safety codes indicate the level of protection that footwear provides against a specific hazard. SB (Safety Basic) is the basic standard level of safety shoes, with a non-slip sole and steel toe cap that protects against 200 joules of impact.
SB-rated shoes provide adequate protection for most industries, but certain job roles may require additional safety features. Make sure your footwear risk assessment is tailored to specific job roles and tasks, as different hazards will be involved.
Assume there is a risk that dropped heavy and sharp objects could pierce the sole. The SB-class toe cap has a steel toe cap, so it prevents heavy objects from crushing the toes, but not sharp objects from piercing the sole. In this case you will need midsole penetration protection – provided by S3 rated shoes.
Examples of hazards to consider
Risk of injury from puncture, tear, cut, needle stick or crush. Consider which part of the foot might be injured.
How long do employees stand or walk?
Are special equipment/appliances used, such as power tools?
Will the sole wear out quickly from floor or walking conditions?
Are the shoes secure on the foot?
Need Heel and Ankle Support?
Do shoes need a closed back?
Need taller shoes or boots?
Is there a risk of contact with molten material?
Is there a risk of exposure to hazardous liquids such as corrosives, solvents, biohazards or hot liquids?
Is there a risk of conduction?