SRC? O4? S5? These are some of the codes that often appear when you're looking for footwear. But what does it mean? Is it important? How can this determine which footwear is better suited for you?
These are some of the questions that we'll be answering in this post. We'll also provide you a list of safety codes and their respective meanings. This way, you'll know if you're buying the right footwear for you.
First, what you need to know is that these codes represent the safety level of the footwear. These codes ensure the user that the footwear complies with all the requirements to provide the defined safety level.
In the EU internal market, the regulation that defines the legal obligations of PPE is the Regulation (EU) 2016/425 of 9 March 2016 on personal protective equipment. You can easily see if a PPE complies with this regulation through the CE marking.
EN ISO 20345:2011 & EN ISO 20347:2011
These standards specify additional basic requirements for safety footwear. You can see if the footwear is complying with these standards by looking at its datasheet or description.
Each one refers to:
EN ISO 20345:2011 - Requirements for safety footwear used for general purpose.
EN ISO 20347:2011 - Requirements for occupational footwear that is not exposed to any mechanical risks (impact or compression).
SAFETY FOOTWEAR CODES
After learning what each requirement means, it's time to find out the meaning of the specific codes. These codes provide information about individual protection levels of the footwear.
SB stands for Safety Basic. SB rated footwear have slip-resistant soles and safety toe caps that protect your feet at 200J impacts.
Has all the SB features and is also antistatic, oil-resistant, and has an energy absorption heel.
Has all the S1 features and prevents water penetration.
Has all the S2 features and also has a midsole penetration resistance (puncture proof), that prevents sharp objects from piercing through the sole and hurting you.
Has all the S1 features, but it's leakproof and waterproof, which means that its material is different. Usually, they're wellington boots with rubber uppers or entirely moulded polymer.
Has all the S4 features and has a midsole penetration resistance (puncture proof).
OB rated footwear only have slip-resistant soles.
You may see this at first as a downside. However, if you don't really need a safety toe cap, having one will only add unnecessary weight to your shoes.
This means that the footwear is slip-resistant, antistatic, and has an energy absorption heel.
Has all the O1 features, but also has to have a resistance to water penetration for at least 60 minutes.
Has all the O2 features and has a profiled sole that offers extra comfort.
SLIP-RESISTANT SOLE CODES
The slip-resistance is a very important feature for your daily work. A small fall can cause serious injuries. To prevent it, safety footwear is tested and then classified into three slip-resistance categories.
- SRA footwear passed the test on ceramic tile wetted with a soap solution.
- SRB footwear passed the test on steel with glycerol.
- SRC footwear passed both SRA and SRB tests, so it's the highest slip-resistant level.
A - Antistatic footwear
E - Energy absorption heel
P - Midsole penetration protection
C - Conductive footwear
WRU - Water-resistant upper
WR - Water-resistant footwear
CI - Cold Insulation Resistance
HI - Heat Insulation Resistance
HRO - Heat resistant
FO - Sole's resistance to Fuel Oil
M - Metatarsal protection (only for EN ISO 20345)
AN - Ankle protection
CR - Upper's cut resistance
IT'S TIME TO CHOOSE YOUR FOOTWEAR!
Now that you know the meaning of each safety footwear code, it's time to put it into practice.
First, you have to consider your job or activity for which you need safety footwear. If it's for construction, you have to look for a boot with a protective toe cap and midsole penetration protection, which means you can choose between an S3 or S5 footwear.
On the other hand, if you work on gardening or if it's just a hobby that you love, there's no need for toe caps or protective midsoles. In this case, you can choose an O4 waterproof boot.
Do you want to find the perfect footwear for your activity? Click here and see our footwear recommendations for each area of activity.