Tread carefully, here's some tips to buying safety footwear
It isn't surprising the number of visitors to the Wray Bros trade counter that pick-up a pair of work boots and have a good look before buying.
Some will look at the branding, some will look at the styling, whilst some will ask about the footwear's protective qualities and all the visitors will try them on to see if they fit and more so how comfortable they are.
Buying safety footwear? Do you look at the branding, the styling, the protective qualities or how comfortable they are? But, do you ever check the tread?
What is surprising is how few actually look at the tread
Though to be fair, it is a natural assumption that a new pair of safety work boots will provide a 'good-grip'. As a tip from Wray Bros, always consider the conditions of your workplace and the suitability of the tread for that environment. Another tip would be to ask your supplier for advice and their recommendations on footwear suitable for the job.
Your supplier will seek to determine what your job is, i.e. indoor or outdoor, what surfaces you work upon and what possible contaminants could possibly be found on the floor. For instance, footwear suitable for outdoor use will feature a tread that is more open that copes better with solid contaminants. Whereas, working indoors suits a tighter filled tread that also suits wet contaminants.
Buying Safety Footwear - Get a Grip
Similar to a car tyre, the shape and design of the tread plays a role in gripping on wet floor surfaces. The purpose of the tread is create a tunnel in which to disperse the liquid and offer its slip resistance effect. The depth as well as the shape of the tread helps with the liquid dispersal and traction.
Don't forget to ask your supplier about the 'slip-resistance' specifications the footwear has been tested to. The European test standards to look out for are EN ISO 20344:2004 (A1: 2007). Footwear which has passed the EN test for slip resistance will be marked with one of the following codes, SRA, SRB or SRC.
The codes confirm the footwear has met the specified requirements for the following:
- SRA - tested on ceramic tile wetted with dilute soap solution;
- SRB - tested on smooth steel with glycerol;
- SRC - tested under both the above conditions.
As can be seen, the test surfaces do not reflect all possible surfaces your work environment may feature. Why not talk to your safety footwear supplier to ensure you buy footwear which will do the job for you.
Can we Help?
Finally, don't forget to look after your safety footwear. Clean the tread when necessary and replace the footwear when the tread depth shows signs of wearing down. For more information on finding the footwear suitable for you and your workplace please contact Steven at Wray Bros on 0151 709 2271.