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STEEL-TOE SAFETY BOOTS
A steel-toe boot (also known as a safety boot, steel-capped boot or safety shoe) is a durable boot or shoe that has a protective reinforcement in the toe which protects the foot from falling objects or compression, usually combined with a mid sole plate to protect against punctures from below.
Although traditionally made of steel, the reinforcement can also be made of a composite material, a plastic such as thermoplastic polyurethane (TPU) or even aluminium. Steel-toe boots are important in the construction industry and in many industrial settings. Occupational safety and health legislation or insurance requirements may require the use of such boots in some settings, and may mandate certification of such boots and the display of such certification directly on the boots. The markings on the boot label will indicate the national or international standards that the boot was intended to meet, and identify the level of protection offered for impact, penetration, electric shock, and chemical hazards. Footwear for use in chemical processing or semiconductor manufacturing may also be rated to dissipate static electricity while still protecting the wearer from electric shock.
Safety footwear now comes in many styles, including sneakers and clogs. Some are quite formal, for supervising engineers who must visit sites where protective footwear is mandatory.
Some brands of steel-toe footwear have become fashionable within subcultures such as skinhead, punk, and rivethead. While brands that were previously renowned within the fashion industry have also diversified into the safety footwear market, industrial brands like Caterpillar, Rock Fall and JCB have also issued licenses to produce safety footwear.
Most safety shoes have symbols on the outside, to indicate the protection the shoe offers.
OSHA requires compliance of ANSI Z41.1-1991, "American National Standard for Personal Protection-Protective Footwear," if purchased after July 5, 1994, or ANSI standard "USA Standard for Men's Safety-Toe Footwear," Z41.1-1967, if purchased before.
California has updated its regulations with the new 2005 ASTM standards F 2412-05, Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection and ASTM F 2413-05, Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection.
Generally, a safety shoe is a shoe that follows at least one of five criteria. The criteria that a safety shoe adheres to can be found by looking for the CSA (Canadian Standards Association) alphanumerical code found inside the shoe. This code is made up of a combination of 5 different symbols:
The International Organization for Standardization provides the European standard for Safety footwear. The current one is ISO 20345:2004 - previously BS EN 345-1:1993.
There is also EN ISO 20346:2004 for protective footwear (must comply to basic safety requirements but toe cap impact resistance requirement is lower - 100 Joules) & EN ISO 20347:2004 for Occupational Footwear (must comply to basic safety requirements with anti static or slip resistant properties. This standard does not require a protective toe cap)
USE AS A WEAPON
Steel-toe boots have been used in assaults, such as the attack on Josie Lou Ratley, a Florida teenager. Nightclubs and other entertainment venues frequently include a "no steel toecaps" rule as part of their dress code to mitigate the possibility of serious injury to other patrons if the wearer becomes violent. Use of bovver boots in football hooliganism was countered by warnings to fans that they would have to remove such boots in order to attend football matches.
For more information about steel toed safety boots, please click on the following link: http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Steel-toe_boot