How to choose your Safety Shoes :
S1P or S3 ?
WHAT ARE SAFETY SHOES?
Safety shoes provide foot protection for workers that are prone to chemical, physical and mechanical risks. This range of footwear is a category of personal protective equipment. It is regulated by national and European standards that establish requirements for safety shoes.
Selecting the right safety shoes allows us to work in the best and safest conditions. However, it is sometimes difficult for consumers to determine the appropriate shoes for their work. This is due to the fact that all safety shoes have specific standards and characteristics that set them apart.
This article is going to introduce the S1P and S3 safety standards to help you find the model that is best suited for your needs.
EUROPEAN STANDARDS FOR SAFETY SHOES
The EN ISO 20345 are the European standards for safety shoes. They consist of the SB, S1, S1P, S2, S3, S4 and S5 standards.
These shoe standards are all able to resist an impact of 200 Joules and a crash of 15 kN. However, they each have individual features that characterize and differentiate them.
THE DIFFERENCE BETWEEN S1P AND S3 STANDARDS
There are two main differences between S1P and S3 standards:
- The work environment: S1P safety shoes are designed for indoor use, while S3 safety shoes are intended for outside work.
- Technical properties: S1P and S3 standards have very similar properties. But, the main difference that we can find on S3 shoes is their high resistance to water and heat.
HOW TO CHOOSE BETWEEN S1P AND S3 SAFETY SHOES
The choice between S1P and S3 safety shoes should be based on several factors. Your choice of safety shoes should respect the applicable standards if regulations exist in the industry. When there aren't any specific regulations in place, the choice between S1P and S3 shoes can be based on the type of work and required mobility, the working environment, the expected comfort and the price of the shoe model.
Some sectors with specific safety shoe standards:
- NF EN 50321 for electricians: antistatic soles must be used for electric isolation.
- EN 13832 for chemical industries: mandatory use of a safety toecap to prevent the penetration of chemical
- DIN EN 15090 for firefighters : The fabrics on firefighter boots must be leather, solid rubber or polymer. This range of safety shoes can be worn in the cases of fire, outdoor interventions and all sorts of rescue missions.
CHOOSING THE S1P STANDARD
S1P shoes are well-adapted for the construction sector. Despite having many similarities with the S3 standard, S1P safety shoes are often less expensive. Thus, they are convenient for construction companies that employ a large number of workers. S1P shoes are best-suited for workers that are looking for quality safety shoes and affordable prices. They can also be used in steel factories and various other industries. Moreover, they can be worn by electricians and first aid workers.
CHOOSING THE S3 STANDARD
Unlike the S1P standard, S3 safety shoes are water resistant. Thus, they are ideal for outdoor work and humid environments. Their ability to withstand high temperatures also makes them suitable for workers that are exposed to heat and fire (welders, foundry workers..). S3 shoes are often more expensive than S1P shoes due to their superior quality. Therefore, they are indispensable for large industries that require excellent quality for their protective gear.
Safety footwear / Safety Shoe was a concept developed at the beginning of the 20th century as a response to the increased awareness in health and safety at work. During this time, laws on compensation and workers rights were also being enacted so it became a less expensive option for companies to prevent injury than to replace an injured worker - as was common practice prior to the new laws.
Foot injury can be debilitating and can be the difference between being able to work and not. Wearing safety shoes or boots can help prevent many injuries and not just to your feet.
Many of us work in an environment where it’s important to make sure we have suitable footwear. Safety shoes can make a massive difference when it comes to remaining injury free in the workplace.
Often referred to as steel toe cap boots or rigger boots, safety boots and shoes come in a variety of styles and fittings depending on your requirements and what the needs are within your role. If you’re someone that does a lot of work outdoors on a construction site for example, a pair of safety boots with a solid, substantial sole is probably the wisest option as they will provide you with the best protection against the elements as well as any hazards. On the flip side, a pair of safety boots may not be needed if you work in a kitchen, here safety shoes with a slip-resistant sole are likely to serve you better.
Not only have safety boots served a practical purpose, but they have also had their moments in fashion too, particularly in the skinhead and punk subcultures where an industrial/military look is the one to go for.
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