ELECTRICAL SAFETY SHOES: THE ULTIMATE FAQ GUIDE
I know you’re probably looking for the best electrical safety shoes in the market.
Shoes that can protect you from all forms of electrical danger.
That’s why this guide explores everything you need to know about electrical safety shoes.
So, before you invest in your next electrical safety shoes, read this guide.
What are Electrical Safety Shoes?
Electrical safety shoes are shoes crafted to provide electrical shock resistance.
They will protect you against electrical hazards.
These type of safety shoes have their heels and soles made of materials that do not conduct electric currents.
Thus, it would help if you used them in instances where you might come into contact with active electrical parts or circuits.
Simply put, electrical safety shoes provide you with protection against electrocutions.
They fall under personal protective equipment.
Are Electrical Safety Shoes Mandatory?
Various workplace safety and health regulations have been put in place to dictate when electrical safety shoes are mandatory.
These regulations posit that electrical safety shoes are mandatory in instances where electrical hazards are likely to occur.
This goes a long way in preventing injuries arising from contact with electrically active parts.
An example of such standards is OSHA.
It dictates that all personal protective equipment, including electrical safety shoes, conform to their standards.
What are the Electrical Safety Shoes Standards?
The standards that electrical safety shoes must conform to are:
- ANSI Z41: These are generally old standards to be met by all safety shoes. They also dictate the testing and inspection processes.
- ASTM 2412-05: These are the current standards that must be met to verify the quality of electrical safety shoes.
- They dictate minimum requirements for the testing, classification, and design of protective footwear.
The standards above require that the electrical safety boots have non-skid and oil-resistant soles. Impact and compression resistance must also be at a certain standard.
Where are Electrical Safety Shoes Required?
You ought to wear electrical safety shoes in work environments with electrical hazards.
You might incidentally come into contact with energized parts or circuits and suffer severe injuries.
What are the Recommended Soles for Electrical Safety Shoes?
The outsole is mainly PU/PU, PU/Rubber, PU/TPU, EVA/Rubber, Wedge Sole.
- PU: Also known as Polythene soles, and are manufactured from organic polymer and are significantly popular.
- Wedger sole: These are the top picks for carpenters, construction workers, welders. They are always characterized by a full edge-shaped outsole, as the name suggests.
- TPU: This is a polyurethane plastic class with many properties, including transparency elasticity and resistance to oil, abrasion, and grease.
Technically, they are normally thermoplastic elastomers consisting of linear segmented block copolymers composed of hard and soft segments.
- Rubber: Rubber is popularly known to dissipate vibration energy, hence the name vibration insulator.
- EVA: This material is also a polymer. The difference arises in flexibility and elasticity.
Besides being good electrical insulators, EVA is UV resistant, tough and water-resistant.
It is typically an ethylene-vinyl copolymer.
How are Electrical Safety Shoes Tested?
We manufacture electrical safety shoes with electrical shock-resistant and non-conductive heels/soles.
Testing ensures that the materials we use can withstand at least 14,000 Volts at 60Hz for a minute without flowing current.
And leakage current of at least 3.0 mA in dry conditions.
These tests are accomplished by setting up a circuit between the boot’s interior and a metal grid.
We do this by filling the boot with metal spheres and bedding an electrode in them.
We then set the boot on a mesh, to which other electrodes are attached.
Once that is completed, we increase the potential between the inside of the boot and the mesh, usually to 14,000 Volts.
Once at 14,000 volts, we maintain the current flow for one minute.
That way, we can obtain the leakage current value from the testing equipment and give corresponding ASTM certification.
What is the OSHA Standard for Electrical Safety Shoes?
As a tradesman in the electrical industry, you are not required by OSHA to wear Electrical safety shoes.
This means that there are no guidelines to be followed.
However, you can wear Electrical safety shoes if your employer requires you to, provided the electrical safety shoes do not pose a danger.
OSHA does not consider wearing electrical safety shoes hazardous.
As long as the shoe’s conductive portion is not in contact with your foot, OSHA considers it safe.
You should consider purchasing non-metallic safety footwear, e.g., composite toe, that provides foot protection and is also non-conductive.
Can Steel Toes be Used for Electrical Safety Shoes?
Yes, you can use steel toes for electrical safety shoes.
The conductive portion, i.e., steel cap, should not contact your foot directly or be exposed.
Particular steel toes have static electricity dissipation features.
While this is not the same thing as electrical hazard protection, they will still protect you from different forms of electrical harm.
Are Composite Toes Better than Steel Toes for Electrical Safety Shoes?
Technically, Yes. Composite toes are the better option compared to steel toes in the electrical industry.
Composite toes eliminate the chances of your foot coming in contact with a live wire.
Such risks may be rare, but wearing composite toes over steel toes will assert your confidence because they are 100% non-conductive.
As an electrical tradesman, you may work in extreme heat or cold conditions.
Unlike steel toes, composite toes are not good conductors of heat.
Meaning composite toes will keep your feet warm and comfortable.
Moreover, composite toes pack similar benefits as steel toes, as both are ASTM certified.
Composite toes are at least 30% lighter than steel toes.
Hence more comfortable for moving around, something most electrical tradespeople do a lot.
Are they OSHA Approved?
Many of the composite toe boots meet ASTM and OSHA safety requirements.
Normally made of non-metallic fibers and they do not conduct electricity.
Are all Electrical Safety Shoes Non-conductive?
Yes, all electrical safety shoes are non-conductive; otherwise, they wouldn’t offer much protection against electrical hazards.
They are usually classified with EH ratings.
They significantly reduce instances where electrocutions or electrical shocks are probable.
Non-conductive shoes can always handle up to 800 volts.
What are the Relevant Symbols to Consider when Buying Electrical Safety Shoes?
Look for the EH symbol. EH is an abbreviation of Electrical Hazard.
Safety shoes with the EH symbol will break any electrical circuit to the ground in incidental live wire contact.
Each electrical safety shoe has a noticeable EH symbol inside it, usually alongside its ASTM rating/certification.
You should not confuse the EH symbol with the SD ( static dissipation) symbol.
SD safety shoes will not protect you from electrical hazards.
What is the Best Vamp Material for Electrical Safety Shoes?
The best electrical safety shoes have vamps made in cow suede, microfiber, KPU, and slipt leather materials.
These materials are the best because of the advantages they present.
For example, besides being non-conductors, they are also flexible and abrasion-resistant.
These materials are also environmentally friendly and non-poisonous.
Materials like KPU are adjustable to meet varying requirements and standards on hardness or density.
How do Men’s Electrical Safety Shoes Differ from Women’s?
The length of women’s and men’s electrical safety shoes differs by 1.5 sizes.
For example, if you are a size 9.5 in women’s electrical safety shoes, you would be a size 8 in men’s electrical safety shoes.
However, the width stays the same. Women’s size D would be men’s size D.
How often should you Inspect your Electrical Safety Shoe?
Safety footwear needs to be in conformance with ASTM standards.
Once every half a decade, expert committees review the standards.
By doing so, they ensure that the standards are up to date and comprehensive.
This revision is necessary for manufacturers to ascertain their ability to meet consumer and industry requirements.
This is always important for damage like breaks in leather, cracks insoles, or exposed toe caps).
You should inspect the electrical safety shoes before each use.
By so doing, you will notice signs of wear or tear and replace or repair as needed.
Therefore, it should be checked for wear and tear and replaced as needed.
Be on the lookout for cracks and holes, broken buckles, or separation of materials and laces.
Additionally, you should check the soles for pieces of metal or other embedded items that could present tripping hazards.
They also have expiry dates set for about 6 to 12 months from their manufacturing dates.
Most of them have expiry dates on them.
It is indicated by a clock-like symbol on their soles.
The number of the clock always refers to months.
How do you Know the Perfect Size for your Electrical Safety Shoes?
Purchasing a pair of shoes online will always be not easy.
There is a vast assortment of shoe brands globally, and each manufacturer measures their sizing differently.
Understanding a good fit is one of the most important things in buying shoes and multiple cross-referencing.
We have two size conversion methods to bring the best fit of safety shoes home with confidence.
- Place your heel against the wall.
- Measure from the wall to the edge of your longest toe, and the measurement tape should be following the side of your foot.
- Record the measurements
- You could repeat steps 1-3 for another two rounds and get the average measurement. Add 5mm to the average, and you will get your foot length.
The additional 5mm is to allow for swelling of feet during work.
- Select the size fit on the size chart.
Direct Conversion Method:
This method works best for a size below 11/10.
You will notice that for sizes beyond 11/10, brands have drastically different size measurements.
- Obtain the size of your fit sports shoes or safety leather shoes.
- Safety shoes are typically one size larger than sports shoes. Therefore, if you are using sports shoes as a reference, take one size smaller safety shoes that you can directly convert.
- The direct conversion method offers a very good fit for your feet. If you have large or wide feet or prefer some room in your shoes, you should take one size larger.
- Select your size from the size chart provided with each model of shoes.
When should you Replace Electrical Safety Shoes?
You should always replace the safety shoes if the sole is cut, has conductive materials stuck in them, or punctured.
You need to always keep them free of metals and other conductive materials and dry them all the time.
The sole component is important, and you should replace it once significant wear reduces its thickness.
In matters concerning foot protection, most employers think that once their employees lace up a task-approved boot, their protection against hazards is assured.
This should not be the case.
Can Electrical Safety Shoes be Custom-Made?
You should not confuse customized with custom in matters concerning shoes.
Most of the manufacturers are online touting custom shoes.
However, it simply means detailing an already existing type in the design, material, and color preferences of choice.
These custom shoes are not designed to meet your specifications.
Customizations always start by modification of already existing forms representing the foot over the footwear is shaped to match your foot’s nuances.
Almost 50 percent of the electrical safety shoes are custom-made simply because the buyer needs a design of his/her own.
Are Add-On Features Recommended for Electrical Safety Shoes?
Outfitting employee with safe electric footwear reduces injuries.
Thereby protecting employees’ feet.
Additionally, appropriate industrial footwear cuts lost works hours.
Generally improving worker productivity and heightening their morale.
Electrical safety shoes are mandatory for workers in an industrial setting to abide by federal regulations.
Such regulations adopted, then enforced by the OSHA standards.
There are regulations and rules about safety at the workplace—for example, section 29 CFR 1910.136 on occupation feet protection.
Some of the required features are:
- Protective toecap.
- Water-resistance upper.
- Slip resistance.
- Sole with electrical isolation, i.e., polymeric boots or overshoes following the law 50321.
How do Insulating Electrical Safety Shoes differ from Non-Conductive Safety Shoes?
Electrical hazard shoes, also called non-conductive shoes, are manufactured to be used only as an auxiliary source of electrical hazard protection.
But they also provide good protection for electricians and others working with dangerous open electrical circuits.
The top difference between the insulating electrical safety shoe and non-conductive safety shoes is the electrical resistance.
The conductive footwear resistance is lower than 100 KΩ.
The antistatic one always resists from 100 KΩ to 1 GΩ, so the insulted boots resistance should be above 1 GΩ.
21. What are other Protective Features found in Electrical Safety Shoes?
Non-conductive footwear: They are manufactured to give extra protection in accidental contact with the electrical circuits.
Non-conductive materials such as rubber lower the chances of electric shock.
When it comes to safety toes, EH-rated boots can be composite capped.
Antistatic footwear: These electrical safety boots have this classification. They are intended for applications in environments that are sensitive to static electricity.
They help to get rid of accumulated static electricity from the body.
Simultaneously, they provide good levels of resistance to electrical hazards from live parts and circuits.
They are normally marked with SD or ESD tags.https://www.youtube.com/embed/GnO15q_nIOU?feature=oembed&wmode=opaque
What are some of the Tips to Consider when Purchasing Electrical Safety Boots?
- Come Prepared: Always bring along a pair of well-padded socks when trying out new shoes.
You may need to put them on to better understand in what manner your boots ought to fit.
- Conduct your research: You should figure out what requirements are in your work environment. You should also consider your personal needs.
- Purchase your boots during the early evening or afternoon: Feet may swell throughout the day, most especially if you work while you are standing.
Buying footwear when your feet are large ensures comfort.
- Do not forget additional procedures like aftercare: Care for the footwear ensures your electrical safety shoes’ long lifespan.
Treating the leather with mink oil or leather treatments keeps materials water-resistant and supple.
You should also store the boots in a dry and clean space to preserve the leather and minimize odors.
How are Electrical Safety Shoes Classified?
Electric safety shoes are always given EH rating classifications.
These safety standards are observed to protect against accidental contact with energized circuits.
Therefore, they help in reducing the chances of suffering electrocutions or electric shocks.
To remind you, the electrical hazard boots are not meant to be the primary protection source in an electrical hazard environment.
They are manufactured to be used as a secondary source of protection.
Can a Steel Shank be Used in Electrical Safety Shoes?
The OSHA standards do not consider using steel toe work boots hazardous in electrical environments.
You should make sure that the conductive cap is not in contact with your foot or exposed outside the shoe.
What are Dielectric Boots?
These are electrical safety boots that are used in environments where there are significantly high risks of shock.
The dielectric boots have insulation properties and can prevent the grounding of electrical currents.
Such environments have high voltage circuits.
For example, live power areas where electrical currents jump large distances.
High voltage electrical currents can cause severe burns, so it is necessary to use dielectric boots in high-risk environments.
What are the Safety Ratings for Electrical Safety Shoes?
The EH-rated shoes are always manufactured to protect employees from up to 600 volts.
Safety Administration and Occupational health always require people working around live wires and possible electricity to wear safety shoes.
Safety footwear standards are all the same.
Thus, all safety footwear be it work boots, safety shoes, safety trainers, etc., must protect the toes against a 200-joule impact.
It is understandable to think safety shoes may come under a different set of rules, but you would be mistaken.
What are the Essential Benefits of an Electrical Safety Shoe?
There is a rapid rise in globalization, high industrial production standards, and increased industrial output in this century.
The employees’ safety and health have come a long way from the sidelines and are now given priority.
Some of the essential benefits of wearing safety shoes at the workplace are:
- Protection from injuries and severe burns: Injuries from any industrial fires can occur at any workplace.
Safety footwear can and will always prevent nasty burns from metal or chemical splashes and other dangerous substances.
- Prevention from falls or slips: Tripping, unpredictable falls, or slips can occur in any work environment, thus causing many accidents.
- Fatigue resistance: fatigue is a big problem for workers who stand for long periods on hard surfaces, e.g., concrete floors.
The foot, back, legs, and other important parts of the body get weary.
This can happen when the employee doesn’t wear appropriate footwear.
- Keeping the feet warm in cold weather: harsh cold weather environments can pave the way to hypothermia and frostbite injuries. You should not overlook these dangers.
So keeping your feet warm and comfortable in conjunction with a slew of other measures is pertinent.
- Protects against electrical hazards, which pose a lot of risks in the work environments. To reduce these risks, rubber, leather, or you can wear other bad conductor safety materials.
What Determines the Electrical Safety Shoe Price?
The price range of electrical safety shoe according to the Insole material used.
Furthermore, the brand is also another factor that determines the price of the electrical safety shoe.
Also, ankle range determines the price range of electrical shoe price.
Are there Orthopedic Custom Electrical Safety Shoes?
Orthopedic custom safety footwear is a removable foot care device worn inside a shoe.
It is made from three dimensions cast impression of your foot.
This must be constructed from raw materials based on your specifications.
This type of electrical safety footwear may come in handy in some instances.
For example, if your worker does not wear a convenient work shoe due to wide feet or disease.
Foot problems are related to lifestyles. More often than not, they make the use of safety boots hard.
The revision of DGUV Rule 112 -191 implies that you cannot use your insoles inside the safety shoes.
Rather, you ought to use orthopedic safety boots.
Assured adaptations are:
- Rocker soles
- 3cm shoe raising
- Butterfly rollers
- Outer and inner edges
Is there a Difference Between Electrical Safety Shoes and ESD Safety Shoes?
Electrical safety shoes protect you from dangerous electrical equipment by sending electrical charges directly to the ground.
Thereby preventing static shock, sparks, or charges.
They are worn in work environments prone to static shock or fire due to electrical hazards.
ESD and Antistatic shoes are confusing in many aspects besides uses as safety shoes.
Regardless of one including the other, it is often wrong to say the reverse is true.
Although both terms are references to contact resistance, there are major distinctions between the two.
Antistatic safety shoes have significantly lower electrical resistance.
They are usually ranging between 0.1 and 1000 MegaOhm.
Using them keeps static charges from building up in the human body.
By doing so, they ensure that there isn’t a fast flow of electricity.
What are the Benefit of Electrical Safety Shoes with Fiber Toe?
The safety toes shoe always offers optimum protection levels and lets you work and play without worrying about tripping injury.
Which Features Make High Voltage Electrical Safety Shoes Unique?
The electrical safety shoes are isolated safety boots.
This means they will always be an additional source of protection from electrocutions or electric shocks.
The idea behind the Electrical hazard-rated safety shoes is quite simple.
The boot surface is made from non-conductive materials, ensuring that electrical charges do not pass through the body.
Because your feet are fully isolated from the ground, they also have an electric hazard rating on them that makes them unique.
This means they have been tested and approved by the ASTM for their levels of protection against electric shock.
In short, once you consider everything in this guide, you will get the best electrical safety shoes in the market.
At Huaerxin Company, we strive to give the best electrical safety shoes that can guarantee safety in the market.
For all your electrical safety shoes orders feel free to contact us.