EN ISO 20345 - This is the standard which all styles that are classified as ‘safety footwear’ are tested to

The EN ISO 20345 standard  specifies that ALL safety footwear must have toe protection, and sets a standard of 200-joules impact-resistance (equivalent to a 20kg weight dropped 1,020mm onto the toes) and a 15KN compression test (equivalent to 1.5 tons resting on the toe area).  Once tested and certified, safety footwear manufacturers stamp EN ISO 20345 footwear products with this standard and the CE mark. Products will be marked with a simple two or three letter code, which defines the basic safety features of that particular product.

The table below outlines the features that each rating under EN ISO 20345 holds:

Safety Shoes EN ISO 20345:2011

Safety Level

SB

S1

S1P

S2

S3

S4

S5

Properties

Ant Slip *3
(SRA/SRB/SRC)

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Toe Cap

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Puncture Resistant
Sole (P)

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Closed Heel Area

Open Heel Possible

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Rubber or Plastic Boots

Rubber or Plastic Boots

Fuel Resistance of the Sole (FO)

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Antistatic Properties (A)

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Energy Absorption in the Heel Area (E)

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Water Resistance

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*1

*1

*2

*2

Profiled Sole

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*1 Min, 80 Min no water penetration
*2 No water penetration
*3 Can SRA or SRB or SRC

A minimum requirement for the certification of safety shoes in compliance with anti-slip specifications according to SRA, SRB or SRC

SRA: Anti-slip on ceramic tiles and cleaning agents.

SRB: Anti-slip on steel plates and glycerin

SRC: (SRA+SRB): Anti-slip on ceramic tiles and cleaning agents. + Anti-slip on steel plates and glycerin

EN ISO 20345 Additional Ratings Explained

C - Conductive

A - Antistatic

I - Insulation against electricity

HI - Insulation against heat

CI - Insulation against cold

E - Energy absorbing seat region

AN - Ankle protection

HRO - Heat resistant outsole

WR - Water resistant

WRU - Water resistant upper

M - Metatarsal protection

CR - Cut resistant upper

What Features Should You Look for in Safety Footwear?

  • Toe protection (S - available in SB, SBP, S1, S1P, S2, S3, S4, S5)​

We all know that the toes are a very vulnerable part of the body — and even more so at work, where there are a number of hazards that could lead to a foot injury. At its most basic level, the EN ISO 20345 standard requires that toe protection must be able to withstand a 200-joule impact. Toe protection includes steel toe caps or lighter alternatives, such as composite or aluminium toe caps.

  • Antistatic protection (A - available in S1, S1P, S2, S3)

Clothing and climate factors can cause a buildup of static electricity in the body. Some materials used in the construction of safety footwear can over-insulate the body, causing the static charge to be held. When a worker touches something conductive, this charge can rush from the body quickly, causing a spark and a small uncomfortable shock. Anti-static footwear significantly reduces this effect.

  • Midsole penetration protection (P - available in SBP, S1P, S3, S5)

Sharp objects can be a significant hazard at work. Midsole protection can guard against nails and other sharp protrusions that could otherwise lead to disastrous consequences. In order to meet the requirements of the EN ISO 20345 standard, footwear midsoles must be able to resist a penetration force of 1100N. Midsole protection can be provided in one of two ways: a stainless steel or aluminium insert in the sole, or a Kevlar insole.

  • Energy absorption (E - available in S1, S1P, S2, S3, S4, S5)

​This refers to energy absorption in the heel region.

  • Water resistance (WR, WRU)​

Footwear may be classified as water resistant in general (WR) as S4 and S5, or they may have a water-resistant upper (WRU) as S2 and S3.

  • Heat resistance (HRO)

Heat-resistant footwear features an outsole which must be able to resist 300°C for 60 seconds.

  • Insulation against cold and heat (CI, HI)

For resistance against cold, EN ISO 20345 footwear is tested for 30 minutes at 1-20°C. For resistance against heat, footwear is tested for 30 minutes at 150°C.

  • Comfort!

If footwear provides adequate protection but is causing your workers harm or discomfort, they will be reluctant to wear them. Make sure you provide safety footwear that fits correctly from the start; contrary to popular belief, there should be no need to “break in” footwear. You can further increase comfort by providing employees with insole inserts and high-quality work socks. It’s a good idea to allow workers to try products first to see if they are comfortable and suitable for their task and work environment — after all, they will have to wear them all day!