Occupational and safety footwear - everything about safety classes and -standards
Safety shoes are used in numerous occupational fields. However, the different areas of application demand varying requirements - depending on the working environment, the required and/or prescribed properties of the work shoes differ. The classification of the shoe types is based on the safety levels according to EN ISO 20345. The "S" in this case stands for safety class - the individual classes are subdivided into the basic class SB and the upper classes S1 to S5.
SB - basic requirements (FO)
S1 - additional requirements (A+FO+E)
S1P- additional requirements (A+FO+E+P)
S2 - similar to S1, additionally conditional watertightness (A+FO+E+WRU)
S3 - similar to S2, but with additional requirements of puncture resistance (A+FO+E+WRU+P)
S4 - similar to S1, but as waterproof boot (A+FO+E+WRU+WR)
S5 - similar to S4, but additionally puncture resistant (A+FO+E+WR+WRU+P)
SB - basic requirements (FO)
The classification of footwear into safety class SB is based on the EN ISO 20345 standard. Work footwear in classes SB to S5 have a protective toe cap made of steel, aluminum or plastic material. These built-in protective caps can withstand an energy of 200 joules. This corresponds, for example, to the impact force of a 200 kg piece of iron falling from a height of one meter. Profiled and non-slip outsoles made of PU, TPU or other rubber compounds, for example, ensure a secure grip on various surfaces. Corresponding standards for slip resistance (SRA, SRB and SRC) apply to certain surfaces.
Safety class SB also includes shoes with an open heel area to make it easier to put on and take off. The front area around the toes must be closed and equipped with an appropriate protective cap. Shoes with the SB classification also have an oil and gasoline resistant sole (FO).
Protection class S1 - additional requirements (A+FO+E)
Shoes with the S1 classification fulfill both the basic properties according to protection class SB as well as the additional requirements of energy absorption in the heel area (E) and also have an antistatic sole (A). The specific contact resistance complies with the requirements of DIN EN 61340-4-3.
Protection class S1P - additional requirements (A+FO+E+P)
In addition to the properties corresponding to classification S1, shoes with safety class S1P have the property of penetration resistance (P). The penetration protection according to EN ISO standard 20345:2004 prevents the penetration of the shoe sole by, for example, metal or pointed objects and consequently prevents injury to the foot.
Safety class S2 - like S1, additionally conditional waterproofness (A+FO+E+WRU)
Shoes belonging to safety class S2, in addition to the requirements according to class S1, also meet the characteristic of resistance of the upper part of the shoe to water penetration and absorption, and are resistant to moisture and wetness (WRU).
Safety class S3 - like S2 and additionally puncture resistant (A+FO+E+WRU+P)
Shoes with the classification S3 combine the two additional properties of the two protection classes S1P and S2. Thus, safety shoes of protection class S3 are antistatic (A), puncture resistant (P), resistant to water penetration and absorption on the upper part of the shoe (WRU), have an oil and gasoline resistant sole (FO) and are able to absorb energy in the heel area (E). A protective cap with the resistance of 200 joules is also part of the shoes from safety class S3 according to DIN EN 12568.
Safety class S4 - like S1, but as a waterproof boot (A+FO+E+WRU+WR)
Footwear with classification S4 has basically the same properties as footwear with safety class S1. In addition, at level S4, the boot is waterproof (WR). According to the standardized test procedure for shoes of class S4, no water may penetrate the shoe in the first 15 - but within the first 30 minutes no more than 2g.
Protection class S5 - like S4, additionally puncture resistant (A+FO+E+WR+WRU+P)
Equal to models of class S4, shoes of safety class S5 are mostly manufactured in the form of boots. The same properties apply to safety shoes of class S5 as to the preceding safety class S4 with the additional property of puncture resistance (P).
Protection classes OB, O1, O2, O3, O4, O5
For footwear with the classification OB to O5, the same properties apply as for the classes SB to S5 - with one exception: footwear from these categories does not have a (toe) protective cap. Further specifications, such as antistatic properties (A) or puncture resistance (P), are met in the same way as for footwear belonging to the classifications OB to O5.
All properties and standards of work and safety shoes at a glance:
A - antistatic shoes
C - conductive shoes
E - energy absorption in the heel area
P - puncture resistance
CI - cold insulation
HI - thermal insulation
FO - oil and petrol resistant sole
HRO - reaction to contact heat
SRA - slip resistance (test method: ceramic tile/cleaning agent)
SRB - slip resistance (test method: steel floor/glycerine)
SRC - slip resistance (test method: SRA and SRB passed)
WR - resistance of the whole shoe to water penetration and absorption
WRU - resistance of the upper part of the shoe to water penetration and water absorption