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What is ASTM Approved Safety Footwear?

NewsID:115    Datetime:2010-12-10

 

ASTM, or the American Society of Testing and Materials (now referred to solely as "ASTM International") is a for profit company located in Pennsylvania that creates the testing standards for safety shoes, among thousands of other products. These standards judge an "acceptable minimum" for product's and service's ability to meet expectations. With regards to work/safety shoes, the ASTM acceptable minimum is the minimum amount of safety that the shoes are able to meet based on their purpose and design.
ASTM created the Z41-1991 American National Standard for Personal Protection – Protective Footwear. That standard is used by the US Department of Labor Occupational Safety and Health Administration as the minimum amount a protective shoe has to qualify to be safe in a dangerous workplace, particularly places with a high degree of danger for falling objects, sharp objects, and electrical shock.
ASTM's guidelines are designed for the safety of the individual, and thus the "acceptable minimum" is almost always enough for these shoes to qualify as "Safe" in a majority of instances. The term "minimum" should not be considered a deterrent – rather it is the minimum that is acceptable to keep you safe in most situations, rather than the absolute minimum a shoe company can provide.
For footwear, ASTM has various standards that need to be met, including:
  • Minimum weight shoe can handle of a dropped object
  • Amount of Joules shoe can withstand (energy/electrical shock)
  • Minimum amount of puncture pressure a shoe can withstand
As well as a variety of other safety standards including a variance on the shape of the falling object and other forms of pressure.
ASTM Approved Footwear
When a piece of footwear is approved by ASTM, the shoe or boot is going to be able to handle any reasonable amount of actions that can cause injury. While there are shoes that are going to be created to withstand more or less weight (or joules, etc.), ASTM's standards ensure that you are kept safe in the majority of situations.

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