Steel-toe boots (also known as safety toe boots, steel-capped boots or safety boots) are durable
boots or shoes that have a protective reinforcement in the toe, usually combined with a sole plate, which protect the footfrom falling objects and punctures from below. Traditionally made of steel, the reinforcement can also be made of a composite material, or a plastic such as thermoplasticpolyurethane (TPU). Steel-toe boots are important in the constructionindustry and in many industrial settings. Occupational safety and healthlegislation or insurancerequirements may require the use of such boots in some settings, and may mandate certification of such boots and the display of such certification directly on the boots. In Canada, certified boots have a Canadian Standards Associationgreen triangleon them.
Safety footwear now comes in many styles, including sneakers and
clogs. Some are quite formal, for supervising engineers who must visit sites where protective footwear is mandatory.
A myth about steel-toe boots is that the inserts actually create a more dangerous environment, because a significant weight could cause the steel to act like a blade, severing the toe instead of the weight simply crushing the foot. However, the weight needed to induce such a failure would result in such severe damage to the toe that amputation would be necessary anyway. [ [http://mythbustersresults.com/episode42 Mythbusters episode 42] ] .
Most safety shoes have symbols on the outside, to indicate the protection the shoe offers. Examples are:
*Green Triangle indicates that it is a class 1 toe cap with puncture resistant sole.
*Yellow Triangle indicates that it is a class 2 toe cap with puncture resistant sole.
*White Square (with ohm symbol) indicates electrical protection.
*Yellow Square(with SD) indicates anti-static protection.
*Red Square(with C) indicates electrically conductive.
*Fir Tree indicates protection against chain-saws.
In the United States, the applicable standard for protective footwear is ASTM standards F 2412-05, Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection and ASTMF 2413-05, Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection.
OSHA requires compliance of ANSI Z41.1-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection-Protective Footwear," if purchased after July 5, 1994 [ [http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=STANDARDS&p_id=9786 Occupational foot protection. - 1910.136 ] ] .
If purchased before July 5, 1994, ANSI standard "USA Standard for Men's Safety-Toe Footwear," Z41.1-1967 [http://www.osha.gov/pls/oshaweb/owadisp.show_document?p_table=INTERPRETATIONS&p_id=21409 OSHA Standard Interpretations] ] .
California has updated its regulations with the new 2005 ASTM standards F 2412-05, Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection and ASTM F 2413-05, Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection. [ [http://www.dir.ca.gov/Title8/3385.html California Code of Regulations, Title 8, Section 3385. Foot Protection ] ] .
Generally, a safety-shoe is a shoe that follows at least one of five criterion. You can determinewhich criteria your safety-shoes adhere to by looking for CSA's(Canada's Standard Association) alphanumerical code found inside the shoe. This code is made up of a combination of 5 different symbols:1, 2 or 0 P or 0 M or 0 E, S or C X or 0
# The first code indicates if the shoe has a steel-toe cap(a metal shell embedded on top of the toes part of the shoe). "0" means there is none. "1" means that there is, and it resists an impact of 125 joules(22.7 kg object falling from 56 cm above). "2" means that it resists an impact of 90 joules.
#The second code indicates if the shoe has soles that protect the arches of the feet from punctures. "P" means it does. "O" means it doesn't.
#The third code indicates if the shoe has a metatarsus protection against shocks and collisions. "M" means it does. "O" doesn't.
#The fourth code indicates the shoe's electrical properties. "E" means it resists electrical shocks. "S" means it disperses static electrical. "C" means it conducts electricity.
#This last code is found only on shoes that protect the foot from chainsaws. "X" it does, "O" does not.
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