Regulatory compliance of safety footwear 101 – the major update of the new EU safety footwear standard

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PFI Germany, as one of the EU safety footwear Notified bodies (NB No. 0193), has more than 65 years of experience in footwear industry. Our laboratory located in Quanzhou has also obtained the accreditation by CNAS for testing in accordance with EU safety footwear standards.

EU’s latest safety footwear testing standards came into force in March 2022. There are key differences between the old and new standards. We are now providing you with the in-depth interpretation of all these changes.

1. What is new?

The new 2022 standard features a number of new requirements and regulations.

1) Class 1 Safety footwear has two new marking categories, as follows:

2) three new items.

a) 5.3.7 Seam strength

This item is only for Hybrid footwear, the materials connection of area A and B shall fulfil a strength of at least 10 N/mm

b) 6.2.9 Scuff cap abrasion

This item belongs to the additional item. Marking as “SC”. Used for anti-kick cap on upper of Class I. The abrasion resistance of the shoe toe material is judged by repeatedly rubbing it 8000 cycles and checking whether it is perforated.

c) 6.4.3 Ladder grip

This item belongs to the additional item. Marking as “LG”. It is a specific requirement for shoes to be worn when climbing a ladder. So besides the outsole needs to meet the conventional requirement, the waist area also made additional provisions.

Such as, there should also be a transverse cleats on the waist area and the cleat height should not be less than 10 mm.

Besides,a:≥35mm;α:90°~120°;b: ≥10mm.

See figure below:

3) Added 8.5 Date of obsolescence and Annex A, Customized safety footwear.

Added obsolescence date of safety footwear, as well as personalized safety footwear customization requirements.

2. What is out?

The new standard also made some deletions, mainly reflected in the following two points.

  • Deleted the requirements of “Electrically insulating footwear”.
  • Deleted UK size of footwear,change the France size to the European size.

3. What is updated?

There are several major changes in the new standard, detailed below:

1) Slip resistance

Slip resistance testing has changed significantly, and the SRA, SRB and SRC marking in the old standard is history. The new standard takes the test conditions of the original SRA as the basic items of safety footwear, but the test mode and requirements are changed as follows:

Ceramic tile floor with sodium lauryl sulphate (NaLS) solution:

Condition A (forward heel slip):≥0.31

Condition B (backward forepart slip):≥0.36

Remark: If there is symbol “Ø” on footwear,no need to test slip resistance.

Footwear marked with symbol “SR” indicate that the shoes have higher skid resistance and need to meet additional requirements, the details are as follows:

Ceramic tile floor with glycerine: 

Condition C (forward heel slip):≥0.19  

Condition D (backward forepart slip)):≥0.22  

2) Flexing resistance of outsole

Added the metallic perforation-resistant inserts whether appear damage provisions. For safety footwear containing metal perforation-resistant inserts, the new standard undoubtedly increases the risk and requires special attention.

3) Perforation resistance

In new standard,metallic perforation-resistant inserts belong to Type P,marked by “P”(“P”is the symbol of perforation-resistant insert in the old standard, but now is the symbol for metallic insert only in new standard),but the test requirements remain the same。

Non-metallic perforation-resistant inserts and insoles,divided into Type PL and PS,symbols are “PL”和“PS. Test requirements are as follows:

  • Type PL:1100N, no perforation and no separation.
  • Type PS: average value ≥1100N,single value ≥950N.

RemarkSafety footwear marking categories S3,S5,S7 are further subdivided into S3/S3L/S3S、S5/S5L/S5S and S7/S7L/S7S

4. Others

  • Added, deleted and modified some terms and definitions.
  • Change the quoted standard EN 12568 to EN ISO 22568。
  • Subdivide Hybrid footwear into hybrid “moulded” footwear and hybrid “mounted” footwear。
  • Incorporate the requirements of Hybrid footwear into the basic requirements.
  • The width of the flange of non-metallic toecaps shall not be greater than 15 mm
  • Additional requirements are added for compression resistance of toecap, consistent with impact resistance requirements.
  • Integrated” pH value” and ”Chromium VI content” into “Innocuousness”.
  • Tensile strength of polymeric material in upper ≥1.0N/mm²。
  • According to the different proportion of non-water vapour permeable materials (maximum 10% and 25%), Water vapour permeability and coefficient has different requirements。
  • The minimum final thickness of insoles abrasion resistance shall not be less than 66 % of the original thickness.
  • For the outsole with cavities, the thickness of any part of insect shall be not less than 2,0 mm.
  • The flex resistance of perforation-resistant insertsadd the requirement of no visible signs of cracking.
  • Metallic inserts shall not exhibit more than three areas of corrosion, none of which shall measure more than 2 mm in any direction.
  • The requirements of water resistance for the whole footwear is changed to no water penetration.
  • Added footwear size requirements for ankle protection.
  • Water penetration and absorption, symbol “WRU” deleted, symbol “WPA” introduced
  • Annex B ‘Assessment of the footwear by wearer’ added.
  • Annex C ‘slip resistance’ added.

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