Do Safety Shoes Expire?

Do Safety Shoes Expire?

When we go grocery shopping, we pay particular attention to expiry dates. We even tend to check our kitchen and pantries occasionally to ensure that our supplies don’t go to waste. This applies to many other personal, household and work supplies. Yet, not many people have ever thought to ask “do safety shoes expire?”

A common misconception people hold is that the durability of safety shoes is assured by its ability to withstand impacts and as a result, they don’t expire. In fact, several old artisans boast of their “rugged boots” that last a lifetime!

The truth, however, is that safety shoes expire! Irrespective of how solid or good looking a safety shoe is, it’s important that you know when to give it the boot. For this reason, we have written on everything you need to know about safety shoe expiration. Read along!

ARE EXPIRED SAFETY SHOES DANGEROUS?

It is not uncommon to see workers continue to wear their expired or extremely worn out safety footwear. One may get a perfect pair of protective footwear and several years down the line they still seem alright and the thought of disposing them seem outrageous.

Safety shoes are designed to protect the feet but when expired are dangerous to the feet. They can cause foot injuries and back pain, lead to trips, slips, and falls, and possible death.

Related: Why are safety shoes important?

INDICATIONS OF EXPIRED SAFETY SHOES

With the knowledge that safety shoes expire, it is important that we are able to tell when they have expired. There are several ways you can do this, including:

  • Check the expiration date
  • Look out for warning signs of expired or damaged safety shoes

Check the expiration date

An expiry date refers to a set date after which a product ceases to be fit for use or consumption. Safety shoes typically have expiry dates set for about 6 to 12 months from their manufacturing date.

Many safety boots have their expiry dates on them. This is usually indicated by a clock-like symbol on their soles. The numbers of the clock refer to months. So whatever number the hand of the clock points to is its expiration month. The two digits on either side of the hand refer to the year.
Additionally, the expiration date may be written on the package/ box of your safety shoes.

Look out for warning signs of expired or damaged safety shoes

Asides expiration dates, there are signs safety shoes exhibit that may as well mean “a cry for change”. These signs include:

  • Worn-out soles
  • Poor Insulating/ waterproof ability
  • Reduced comfort
  • Gaping mouths/ fronts
  • Chemical attack
  • Excessive usage

Worn-out soles

This is one glaring indication that denotes a deteriorated safety boot. Worn-out outsoles signify that a safety boot has lost its impact resistance or shock-absorbing properties. Such shoes are also dangerous because they have a reduced ability to protect the feet from sharp objects. Holes in your soles are bad too. Furthermore, there is a marked decrease in the shoes’ grip and skid resistance.

Poor Insulating/ waterproof ability

Do safety shoes expire?

When you begin to notice that your safety shoes have lost their insulating properties, then it’s about time to get another one. Inclusively, you should be on the watch for when your waterproof boots suddenly stop being so.

Gaping mouths or fronts

Are you confused about the gaping mouth bit? Well, we consider safety shoes to be thirsty once their upper and sole starts to get separated. It’s normal to think to get that gap closed up but if it becomes recurrent, think again!

Lack of Comfort

Comfort is a major factor to be considered when acquiring safety shoes. Once this begins to wane, it is most likely time to get a new pair. Think about it, what are safety shoes without comfort? Also, note that flexibility is good but bad when excessive.

Related: Which safety shoes are the most comfortable?

Chemical Attack

Do safety shoes expire?

Some safety shoes, especially those made with rubber materials, are susceptible to chemical attacks. These attacks could lead to discolorations, cracks, and other forms of degradation. Once your safety shoes suffer these damages, you may want to get a new pair.

Excessive usage

Your safety shoes require care and “pampering”. It’s not enough to pick a pair off the shelf and proceed to wear them daily. You need to care for them appropriately! Even with the right care, a pair of safety boots will become less protective with continuous or excessive usage.

For this reason, it is advised that you alternate between pairs and get new ones once you notice wear. It is possible to wear a very good pair for long and feel no difference. Yet, you must change that pair after its expiration or the recommended period of use.

OSHA’s approach to the expiration of safety shoes

In 1994, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) published a revision on its personnel-protective equipment regulations 29 CFR 1910.136. It stipulated the standard of foot protection and efficient care of safety shoes.

OSHA recommends the use of X-rays in determining when to change your safety boot. Safety shoes have toes that are built to resist the impact of 75 ft-lbs. This property reduces with increased impact but may go unnoticed since the toe is usually covered. This is done only at the discretion of the safety personnel or that of the contractor, employee, or issuer.

Additionally, some professionals suggest that safety shoes should be changed after a severe impact on the toe.

Does storage affect the expiration of safety boots?

This is another important question about safety shoe expiration. Some components of safety shoes are affected by storage.
A good example is the Thermo Polyurethane used in making some outsoles. Overtime this polymer undergoes hydrolysis (which is the chemical breakdown of polymer compounds) even if the shoes haven’t been worn.

Always check the sole of your boots before purchase so you don’t buy one that’s new but expired.

Related: How do I choose safety shoes?

CONCLUSIVELY,

Safety shoes expire! You may see the signs or not but it is important that you cease to wear expired and damaged safety shoes. Overused boots should also be done away with irrespective of expiration dates. The safety of your feet is paramount and must be protected at all costs!

As usual, we will love to hear from you! Get in touch with us in the comments section. Let us know what you think and how this guide helps.

ATTENTION: We have an App that helps in keeping your family safe!


The KeepMeSafe Family Locator is an App designed with your family’s safety in mind. Its features include GPS tracker, SOS signal, audio, and video recording, chat and voice notes, parental control, etc. Watch how to get started here!

Available: Google Play Store.

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF SAFETY SHOES?

WHAT IS THE PRICE OF SAFETY SHOES?

Safety shoes are compulsory in many workplaces. You probably understand their importance and are willing to get a pair or two. Now, what you want to know is “what is the price of safety shoes?” As your safety plug, trust us to have answers for you!

Related: Why are safety shoes important?

FACTORS AFFECTING THE PRICE OF SAFETY SHOES

When you decide to get safety shoes, you’ll want to consider your budget. There are lots of safety shoes with different qualities to pick from. Some of the factors which influence the price of safety shoes are:

  • The material used for the upper
  • Sole materials used
  • Brand and quality of the safety shoe
  • Features of the safety shoe
  • Level of protection
  • Level of comfort
  • The design and versatility of the safety boot
  • Target market

The material used for upper

For many persons, the first thing they notice in a safety shoe is the upper. The materials used in making safety shoes upper include rubber, nylon, leather, composite materials, etc. The prices of these materials vary and as such affect the price of the safety shoes.

Safety shoes with rubber uppers are relatively affordable but may offer less comfort. Leather uppers give the most advantages in terms of aesthetics, breathability, and comfort. However, they are more expensive and this still varies on the quality of leather used.

Sole materials used

The soles (midsole and outsole) of safety shoes matter a lot! It is the sole that offers resistance against puncture as well as gives a good grip. Some soles are so heavy that they make the boot highly uncomfortable. A good sole should be lightweight.

Rubber and Thermo Polyurethane (TPU) are two choice materials for the outsoles of safety shoes. Polyvinyl chloride (PVC) is also used occasionally. TPU soles offer more than the oil and abrasion resistance of rubber soles. They are lighter and more durable. Hence, they are more expensive. Additionally, there are polyurethane double density soles. Go figure!

A very good material used by top brands for midsoles is ethylene-vinyl acetate (EVA). It provides stability and added comfort. Therefore, such shoes are expected to be pricey.

Brand and quality of the safety shoe

The brand of a safety shoe affects its price.

Safety shoes from top brands like Timberland, Skechers, Keen, and Caterpillar are usually more expensive than lesser-known brands. The recognition of a brand plays a major role in the price of its safety shoes.

The upper, midsole and outsole, mesh lining, and possibly, lacing system of a safety shoe largely determines its quality. Therefore, safety shoes with good qualities are more expensive.

A lot of persons tend to rely on the quality these top brands are known for. Interestingly, lesser-known brands may have affordable safety shoes with similar quality.

Features of the safety shoe

The basic feature of safety shoes is the toe protection they offer. However, some safety shoes offer additional features. For example, some Caterpillar safety shoes offer features like ERGO technology and its patented iTechnology. Timberland is known for its Timberland Pro® 24/7 Comfort System™ and Ever Boots for its signature Tank Tread pattern.

It is expected that shoes with such additional features would cost more than even other safety shoes from the same brand.

Level of protection

Safety shoes are built to meet safety standards. The most widely accepted standardization bodies are the ASTM and EN ISO, which regulate the American and European markets. Their set standards are classified to meet several requirements.

Under the EN ISO 20345 standard, shoes that offer toe protection and slip-resistance are labeled SB (Safety basic). Those which offer SB requirements plus closed heel, anti-static, heel energy absorption, oil, and fuel resistance are labeled S1. S1P refers to S1 plus puncture resistance. Labels S2 to S5 are given with increased protection.

The higher the level of protection a safety shoe provides, the higher its price.

Read more: How do I choose safety shoes?

Level of comfort

The comfort of safety shoes is based on varying factors. The upper material determines its breathability. The mesh lining and soles also matter. Moisture-wicking nylon mesh linings are usually more comfortable. Insoles like REVlite add a difference as well.

Extremely comfortable safety shoes will cost more than those with minimal comfort.

Read more: Which safety shoes are the most comfortable?

The design and versatility of the safety boot

What is the price of safety shoes?

We know that safety shoes are designed to protect the feet. Some brands, however, raise the bars a notch higher by making desirable designs. The KEEN Utility Men’s Atlanta Cool Steel Toe Work Shoe, designed like a pair of sneakers, is a classic example.

Similarly, there are safety shoes that can be worn from the workplace to the gym then grocery shopping. Their versatility makes this possible. These are different from the regular pull-after-work safety shoes and therefore will cost some more bucks.

Target market

Male and female safety boots vary in their build, although both offer the same protection. The variance may come in different factors. These include style quotient, Q (quad muscle) angle, weight distribution, and color options.

These disparities may make shoes for one market more expensive than the other.

PRICES OF SOME SAFETY SHOES

We’ve collated some safety shoe options for you and grouped them by their price ranges. Please note that these prices are subject to change by the sellers.

Safety shoes below $50 include:

Skechers Men’s Cessnock Food Service Shoe. Buy on Amazon.

Servus XTP 15″ PVC Chemical-Resistant Steel Toe Men’s Work Boots. Buy on Amazon.

Dunlop 8908610 DURAPRO Boots. Buy on Amazon.

LA Police Gear Men’s Tactical Core 8″ Leather Side-Zip Duty/Uniform Boot. Buy on Amazon.

Safety shoes between $50 – $100 include:

Skechers for Work Men’s Vinton Lanham Work Boot: Buy on Amazon.

Georgia Boot Men’s Georgia Giant High Romeo GR500 Work Boot: Buy on Amazon.

Timberland PRO Men’s Powertrain Sport Alloy Toe SD+ Industrial and Construction Shoe: Buy on Amazon.

KEEN Utility Men’s Tucson Mid Work Boot: Buy on Amazon.

ROCKROOSTER Men’s Work Boots: Buy on Amazon.

Safety shoes above $100 include:

Timberland PRO Men’s Powertrain Alloy-Toe Electro Static Dissipative Industrial Shoe: Buy on Amazon.

Caterpillar Men’s Convex Mid Steel Toe Work Boot: Buy on Amazon.

Timberland PRO Men’s Boondock 6″ Composite Toe Waterproof Industrial & Construction Shoe: Buy on Amazon.

Carhartt Men’s 6-Inch Waterproof Wedge Soft Toe Work Boot: Buy on Amazon.

Danner Men’s Downrange 6″ Military and Tactical Boot: Buy on Amazon.

In conclusion,

As you research for the best safety shoes to buy for use in your workplace, set your budget and work with it. You may get some good deals on Amazon as well. Most importantly, never skimp on protection. Stay safe!

We will love to hear some feedback. Let us know how this guide has helped you. Also, tell us bits you think we missed out. Find us in the comments section below!

ATTENTION: Let’s help you keep your family safe!

Introducing The KeepMeSafe Family Locator: An App designed with your family’s safety in mind. Its features include GPS tracker, SOS signal, audio, and video recording, chat and voice notes, parental control, etc. Learn more here!

Available: Google Play Store.

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I STOP CHILDPROOFING MY HOME?

AT WHAT AGE SHOULD I STOP CHILDPROOFING MY HOME?

Having a baby can be so enthralling until you begin to realize how child safety can be a problem around your home. Then it dawns on you that you need to babyproof your home and make necessary changes. As your children grow, you soon begin to ask “at what age can I stop childproofing my home?”

We understand that desire to have your “perfect” home back. But we also know that your child’s safety at home is paramount. Therefore, we want to help you transition at the right time and in the right ways.

What does childproofing your home entail?

Childproofing entails measures to make your home safe for your child. It also involves keeping the home safe from your child.

Related: How To Childproof Your Home.

Childproofing your home may occur in stages. These include:

  • Before the birth of your baby.
  • When your baby begins to crawl.
  • When your baby takes his/her first steps.
  • Continuously and appropriately as the child grows.

Read more: When Should I Childproof My Home?

You probably know and have done all these, so let’s cut to the chase already!

The right age to stop childproofing your home

Is there really a right age to stop childproofing your home? Can you ever totally remove all childproofing measures?

Well, there’s no absolute answer to this question. We rather have some guides to help you make this decision.

Teach them safety measures

At what age should I stop childproofing my home?

As your children grow older and begin to understand things, it is important that you start to explain safety to them. Start from the basic concepts as early as possible. Also, teach them safety outside the home. When it comes to child safety, leave no stones unturned.

When to relax safety measures in your children’s room

When your children outgrow sleeping in a crib and moves to a bed, you may introduce pillows to their sleeping area. Then show them how to lie down properly. You may also bring in blankets and bumper pads.

If you decide to let them take toys into their room, be sure they don’t have tiny bits and dangerous parts. Kids above 5 may be better trusted with this.

Teach children safe bathroom and toilet practices. As you potty train them, show them how to turn their taps on and off. You may supervise bath time till they get the hang of it or overcome the risk of drowning.

The age to take off baby gates

Once you notice that your kids can comfortably go over the baby gates, get taller ones. When the tall safety gates cease to be a barrier, then it might be time to take them out totally. You don’t want those gates to lead to trips, falls or other injuries.

The age to take off stair safety gates

When your child starts walking, teach them how to safely climb up and down the stairs. You can take their hands and let them walk with you. Teach them to use the rails for balance. However, you must explain to them why it isn’t safe for them to climb on their own. Also, tell them why you have the safety gates installed and hint on the possible risks you’re trying to avoid.

When you trust them to be safe on the stairs, you may take off the safety gates but keep supervising them from your distance.

When to relax the restrictions in the kitchen

At what age should I stop childproofing my home?

In childproofing, you make the kitchen inaccessible to children. This can’t remain forever! Kids have to learn to work around the kitchen safely.

Start by pointing out the dangers of knives, glass cups, and other simple kitchen tools. This can be done for kids about 3 years of age. Teach them the dangers of fires and leaving fires unattended. If you use cooking gas, you would want to be very careful about this. Ensure that they understand practical steps to take in case of a fire outbreak.

Occasionally let them watch you work in the kitchen. Let the older kids join you in making meals. Discuss steps with them as you go. Explain the right and wrong use of kitchen appliances to them.

Show them the content of different kitchen cabinets. Allow them to fix their cereals themselves. They should also understand what goes in the fridge, freezer, pantry, cabinets, or stays on the counter. Medicine cabinets must be locked though. At least, until they have successfully mastered proper usage and dosage. Never leave drugs like pain killers, narcotics, and other hard drugs out.

We find that kids above 10 have a pretty good understanding of the kitchen.

When to stop worrying about poisoning

Children naturally see practically everything as food. Start early to show them what food is and what it isn’t. Point out the difference between raw and cooked food. Teach them to leave items to the floor and not relocate them to the mouth. Label items around your home as soon as they can read and make them identify them.

When to stop childproofing the living room

At what age should I stop childproofing my home?
Shot of a little girl turning off an electrical switch while her mother looks on

Kids above age 3 are more balanced on their feet and may fall less often. You may allow them to walk around the living room, under your supervision. Let them learn about their environment.

Teach them not to tug on heavy items like the television and dining table. Once they begin to show a sense of responsibility, let them know you see their efforts. Gradually ease off barriers like safety gates guarding the TV console. Have the older kids turn appliances on and off, and teach them how they work.

The age to stop childproofing outside your home

At what age should I stop childproofing my home?

If you live in a fenced and gated house, it should be easier to let them go outside to play. If not, ensure that they are not unsupervised. Map out a safe area and instruct them to stay within the area. They should know not to talk or go with strangers. Also, they must know how to call for help if anything goes wrong.

If you have an outdoor pool, teach your kids how to swim early enough. Make them understand the use of swimming vests and floaters. Don’t remove swimming pool gates until you are absolutely sure they can be safe. On the contrary, leave the gates in place. Kids drown at home, you don’t want that.

As for your gardens, let them join you while you work. When they see the efforts and time you put in, they will likely grow to appreciate them too. This will prevent them from yanking off your plants or stomping on them while they play.

Never allow them into the garage or work areas alone. Consider your vehicles and pieces of machinery unsafe for them.

The age to leave valuables unprotected

Hmmm! This can be quite tricky! If we are talking about documents and family heirloom, then maybe not at all!

Parents may find that childproofing gets easier and more relaxed as the number of kids increase. This is because the elder ones care for their siblings. They have an idea of child safety and will lovingly protect the younger ones.

Also, little children look up to their elder siblings and follow their steps. If you have successfully instilled the right training in your first and second, then you may worry less about your toddlers.

Finally,

Childproofing never really ends. You may ease out your restrictions in phases but not all at once. Kids should be supervised regularly; even preteens and teens need some sort of supervision. Don’t fret, you’ll figure your way around getting your home back to normal.

Talk to us about your journey in relaxing childproofing measures around your home. Let us know the difficulties you are facing or tips we may have missed out. We want to hear from you in the comments section below.

KeepMeSafe parents’ alert: We are dedicated to helping you keep your family safe and have an App just for you! Our Keep Me Safe Family Locator helps you worry less!

Its features include GPS tracker, SOS signal, audio, and video recording, chat and voice notes, parental control, etc. This video can get you started!

Available: Google Play Store.

DO I REALLY NEED BABY GATES?

DO I REALLY NEED BABY GATES?

It is important that you childproof your home, but when you get started, it might get almost overwhelming. So many recommendations, so many fittings to be done, yet it only gets more confusing. Now you’ve heard people talk about baby gates a lot and wonder “do I really need baby gates?” As usual, we’re here to guide you. Read along!

Related: Why Should I Childproof My Home?

WHAT ARE BABY GATES?

Baby gates are protective fittings designed to restrict a child’s access around the home. You may zone out areas like the kitchen, garden, home office, bathroom etc., using them.

REASONS YOU REALLY NEED BABY GATES

We’ve highlighted major reasons why baby gates are important in your home.

Related: When should I childproof My home?

To keep babies out of dangerous places in the home 

Some parts of your house can pose immense dangers to your bundle of joy. These areas include the kitchen (sharps and electrical appliances), bathroom (drowning), living room (heavy objects) etc. Baby gates ward off the child from these areas, thereby, reducing the possibility of child domestic accidents.

To keep children away from stairs

Do I really need baby gates?

This is extremely important for people who live in homes with stairs. It prevents kids from falling or rolling down stairs. Children may, otherwise sustain injuries to the head, limbs and possibly die.

To keep children away from valuable items

It is not uncommon to have a piece or more valuable items in your home. It might be difficult and stressful to do away with them as children come into the picture. In addition, keeping your kids from destroying them can also be difficult. Baby gates can used to keep such items safe from your kids.

To keep children out of home workplaces

If you have a den or home office, then we can agree that you get more productive hours when the kids are away. You could also have important documents in the office that mustn’t be tampered with. Baby gates can be installed to keep kids out from your office. This also extends to garages and basements that have been converted to work stations.

To keep kids away from open spaces

Are there rooms in your home that don’t have doors or closed entrances, and may not already be babyproofed? Baby gates are here to your rescue!

To zone out a safe space for kids playtime

Do I really need baby gates?
Baby boy plays with his yellow toy truck

You can use baby gates indoors and outdoors to zone a play area for your children. This should give you some peace of mind while they play.

For use during travels and when you go visiting

Baby gates make good companions for a day outside the home or when you go visiting. Additionally, you may take them along on your travels or to holiday destinations. Baby gates give you one less thing to worry about when you decide to take your kids travelling.

To keep children in their rooms

Your children’s rooms may be adequately childproofed and you’ll want them to stay there. With baby gates, you can achieve this. Additionally, they can prevent them from moving around the home unsupervised, at nighttime. If you want some time alone with your partner, try safety gates.

To keep children inside the house

Kids are never to go outdoors alone. You can hardly control their activities in the yard area. Also, you may have an outdoor swimming pool, pond, gutters or a treasured garden space. Safety gates will keep your kids indoors and away from possible dangers.

To keep pets out

Baby gates to keep pets out

If you have pets, especially ones that haven’t been home trained or you don’t consider safe to your kids, then use safety gates. You may also use pet gates to keep them out of the house.

TYPES OF BABY GATES

There are different types of safety gates which are based on several factors. These factors include material of construction, style of installation, size and fit, location for use, and installed door systems. These types may also be regarded as factors to consider when you choose safety gates.

Based on the material of construction

Baby gates could be made of wood, plastic or metal. Metals like steel or aluminum may be used. Some materials like plastic may be safer than the others but less sturdy.

Based on the style of installation

Pressure-mounted baby gates

These types of safety gates require no screws for installation. They fit by outward pressure, so you don’t need to mess up your walls. Additionally, they are very easy to fit and require no special help. However, they may not give a secure fit so they are to be used for doors.

Hardware-mounted baby gates

These types require to be screwed into the walls. They give a secure fit and are great for the stairs. Sadly, they leave behind a dent in the wall and you may require help when fitting them. Well, there are some designs that use other fitting accessories asides screws. These do not spoil your walls or woodwork, yet are relatively sturdy.

Retractable baby gates

These safety gates are easily fixed and retracted as needed. They can be wound up for storage when not in use. These are especially useful in homes where kids aren’t always present.

Freestanding baby gates

As the name implies, they are not mounted to walls or doors. They simply stand alone and can be moved around the home. Interestingly, they may also be used to build a safe play area for toddlers.

Based on location for use

Some areas of the home require baby gates that are specifically made for them.

Baby gates for the stairs

Do I really need baby gates?

Stairways can be dangerous to children so it’s wise to block them off from little ones. Basically, safety gates designed for stairs are hardware mounted. They may come in pairs, one for the top and the other for the bottom. The top gate is usually tall to prevent them from climbing and falling over.

Baby gates for outdoor activities

Weather conditions are taken into consideration for this type of safety gates.

Based on size

The regular doors in a house are within 32 to 36 inches wide. Basic baby gates are made to fit this specification and their default heights are usually about 22 inches. Nonetheless, they are variations in sizes.

Tall baby gates

As your children grow, they get taller so your safety gates must grow too. These types are good for taller kids and the top of stairs. They reduce the chance of your child climbing and falling over them.

Wide and extra wide baby gates

These safety gates are used for doors and openings that are wider than normal. There are varieties of widths to choose from. Some brands include additional parts to their standard fits.

Based on installed door systems

The trick to using baby gates is to keep the children out and not the adults. Therefore, safety gates have ways adults can walk through or over.

Baby gates that have a door

Baby gates that have a door
Asian toddler boy open the play pen door, escaping, crawling out happily.

Some designs have doors which can be locked, away from little prying hands. With this, adults just need to open the door and walk through. Different designs have different locking mechanisms. There are locks that just need a lift or button to open. Additionally, some designs sport childproof locks that are more practical as kids grow.

Baby gates with a pet door

These are designs for people who have pets that are safe to their children. They have little doors that let your little pets pass through but keep your baby locked in.

Baby gates with no door

These types are also known as step over gates. These have no door and are useful when your child is still very little, because the child can’t climb over, so they stay in. However, you would have to do all the work of climbing in and out of gated areas.

Tips for choosing baby gates

  • Always buy correctly fitting gates, by taking a measure of the area you want to be restricted.
  • A very minute or no gap at all should be left below baby gates because a child can easily crawl under to freedom.
  • The space between rails must be less than 3 inches. You don’t want a child’s head to get stuck.
  • Toddlers can smartly climb over gates with horizontal slats. Therefore, get designs that have vertical bars instead.
  • The safety gate you decide on must be appropriate for your need. Don’t use pressure-mounted safety gates for stairs.
  • Ensure your safety gates lock securely and are almost as tall as your children.
  • Only buy safety gates that meet safety standards. JPMA (Juvenile Products Manufacturers’ Association, Inc.) ensures that baby products meet ASTM standard guidelines.
  • When your child can comfortably maneuver your safety gates, then it may just be time to get done with them. This will prevent your safety gates from becoming a cause of domestic injuries.

As you already know, installing baby gates aren’t the only childproofing your home requires. Read our post on how to childproof your home.

NOTE: No measure of childproofing can take the place of parental supervision.

FINALLY,

Baby gates are important especially for crawling kids and toddlers. They protect your children and help to keep valuables out of their reach. Amazon has lots of options for you to make your pick. Happy and safe parenting!

We want to hear your thoughts on the importance of baby gates, let’s meet in the comments section below.

KeepMeSafe parents’ alert: We understand that child safety is more than having a childproof home. We know how worrisome it can be to have your kids out of sight, when you go to work, or when they go out.

Our Keep Me Safe Family Locator helps you worry less!

Its features include GPS tracker, SOS signal, audio, and video recording, chat and voice notes, parental control, etc. This video can get you started!

Available: Google Play Store.

HOW DO I CHOOSE SAFETY SHOES?

HOW DO I CHOOSE SAFETY SHOES?

Many companies are tasked with assuring their workers’ safety while on the job. Some have made safety shoes and other safety wears readily available. Others have rules mandating their workers to always wear safety paraphernalia. If the onus of getting your safety shoes fall on you, then the question “how do I choose safety shoes?” is likely on your mind.

We completely understand how choosing one or two from the sea of available safety shoes can be confusing so we’ve done all the work for you! This post should help you in making the right decision for your feet. Come with us!

Related: Why Are Safety Shoes Important?

FACTORS TO CONSIDER WHEN YOU CHOOSE SAFETY SHOES

Picking random safety shoes off the shelf could be counterproductive, because a boot that works perfectly for A may be terrible for B. We have grouped the factors to be considered before making a choice into three thus:

  1. Safety standards.
  2. Workplace factors.
  3. Personal factors.

Safety standards to consider when you choose safety shoes

Your safety shoe must meet the necessary safety requirements. Different countries have their safety shoe standards but they basically have the same requirements. The two major safety footwear standards are ASTM 2413 & EN ISO 20345.

ASTM (The American Society for Testing and Materials) Standards

ASTM is an international standards body that entails the minimum requirement safety footwear must meet. The latest ASTM standards are:

  • ASTM 2413-17 for safety toe cap performance requirements.
  • ASTM 2413-18 for foot protection.

Requirements

Impact resistance: This is rated by imparting a force of 75 ft-lbs to the toe of the shoe. It checks for the protection the shoe offers against falling objects. Safety shoes that meet this requirement are labeled I/75.

Compression resistance: This is rated by delivering a force of 2500 pounds to the toe. It checks for the protection the shoe offers against rolling objects. Safety shoes that meet this requirement are labeled C/75.

Other ratings include:

  • M or F for male or female designed safety shoes respectively.
  • EH rating for electrical hazard.
  • Mt/75 rating for metatarsal protection (tested against 75 ft-lbs of force).
  • CD rating for conductive characteristics.
  • SD for static dissipative (This could be SD 100, 35 or 10 for 1-100, 1-35 or 1-10 megohms respectively).
  • PR rating for resistance against puncture.

EN ISO

This is the international standards body that regulates the minimum requirement for safety footwear in Europe. The latest standard is the EN ISO 20345. It mandates that the toe caps of safety shoes are resistant against a force of 200 joules. There are two classes of this safety standard: class 1 safety and class 2 safety.

Class 1 safety

Safety shoes made with materials like leather are defined by this class. Such shoes are labeled as follows:

  • Safety basic (SB)- Toe protection and slip resistance.
  • S1- SB requirements plus closed heel, antistatic, heel energy absorption, oil and fuel resistance.
  • S1P- S1 plus puncture resistance.
  • S2- S1 plus upper bearing water repellence.
  • S3- S1 plus puncture resistance, water repellence and cleated outsoles.

Class 2 safety

Safety shoes made with rubber and polymers are defined by this class. They are labeled as follows:

  • S4- Same as S2.
  • S5- Same as S3.

Other standards, based on country or region

  • AS/NZS 2210.1-2010 for Australia and New Zealand.
  • CAN/CSA-Z195-02 for Canada.
  • SS 513:2005 for Singapore.
  • GB 21148 & An1, An2, An3, An4, An5 for China.

Note: There is a significant difference between safety shoes, work shoes and protective shoes. While safety shoes have toe capping that is 200 Joules impact-resistant, work shoes have no toe capping and protective shoes have toe capping of 100 Joules.

Workplace factors to consider when you choose safety shoes

How do I choose safety shoes?

Workplaces differ! Even companies within the same industry can have varying environments or work conditions. Additionally, specific industries require specific kinds of safety shoes. The prominent factors to consider are the hazards specific to your workplace. Therefore you should choose safety shoes that are particularly made to overcome your workplace hazards.

Workplaces which are predominantly susceptible to electrocution:

For this kind of workplace, choose safety shoes made with proper high grade insulator materials. High grade rubber boots with an extended upper or ankle guard/ shaft will be perfect. This will do well to protect personnel from sources of contact or exposure to an electric field.

For electrical jobs that also require climbing, the boots have to be lightweight and flexible. Flexibility goes a long way to address the difficulty in climbing and as such prevent accidental falls and other threats posed by heights.

Workplaces where chemicals or corrosive substances either liquid or solid forms are handled:

How do I choose safety shoes?

Elastomers and other forms of plastics offer high resistance to corrosive attack from chemicals such as strong base and weak acids. Therefore to protect the feet and enhance comfort while performing tasks in such workplaces, total rubber safety boots are recommended.

Also, flexible and lightweight rubber boots will facilitate movement in the advent of poisonous chemical spills and possible explosions.

Workplaces prone to spills:

Here, the selection of a safety shoe will be based on slip resistant outsoles. A safety shoe with a good grip will also serve well. This will prevent falls and slippage due to water, oil or other spills. Sometimes, minor slips may occur until you break into the shoe.

Workplaces with high sources of heat or elevated/subzero temperature zones:

People who work in places with furnaces or cryogenic units need special protection. Their feet have to be protected to forestall burns or frostbites. Therefore, properly insulated safety shoes or those made with very thick leather will be required.

Additionally, the boot shafts/upper must be tall enough to cover the entire shin and calf regions of the leg. It is also important to select a boot with a thick enough outsole and reinforced rubber or composite material. This is because they exhibit high resistance to very high and sub-zero temperatures. The insole and midsole must be well padded so as to provide additional comfort.

Workplaces that exposes personnel to hard surfaces and places where heavy machines/ materials are handled:

These include places with mines or metal-based platforms. It also covers persons who handle cutting tools or are involved in the storage of heavy machinery or materials. The exposure of safety shoes to cutting tools or debris from cut materials, impact from heavy materials and rocky surfaces must be considered. Hard floors or platforms contribute to the rapid deterioration of safety boot soles.

In this case, heavily reinforced boots must be chosen, to withstand impact and compressive stresses that are commonly experienced in this work zone. Furthermore, a well reinforced hardcore boot is required. The flexibility of the insole pads also matter, because they prevent the formation of blisters on the feet. The toe region must be well spaced out, to allow free movement of the toes.

Personal factors to consider when you choose safety shoes

Now that you have safety standards and workplace factors sorted out, let’s go further! We all have different feet. Yours may be slender and long while another’s is wide and small. The factors to be considered go beyond size. We’ve highlighted the major points for you.

Size

Size matters! Before you make that order, be sure you are choosing the right size. Some shoes have sizes that are true to fit and others don’t. If you are buying from online stores, it will be wise to check reviews that border on size. Also, you may chat with the merchant to get your true sizing.

You can give little room for extra comfort but not too much. Test your new safety shoes at the time your feet are swollen i.e. at close of work. This can help determine a true fit. Poorly fitting shoes are damaging to the feet so this is important.

Fun fact: Thick socks can be worn with safety shoes that run big or for extra padding.

Comfort

Your safety shoes must be comfortable; it will be a shame to get awesome but uncomfortable safety shoes. Comfort and protection go hand in hand, therefore, never trade one for the other. The mesh lining and insole technology of a safety shoe play a huge role in determining its comfort.

Moisture-wicking lining, in particular, have great results in keeping the feet dry and comfortable.

Read our article on the most comfortable safety shoes.

Aesthetics and style

How do I choose safety shoes?

Who said your safety shoes have to be ugly? Definitely not us! If being fashionable is your thing, then you can have that incorporated in your safety boots too. Some are made to look chic and classy, so you don’t have to bother about looking drab. Materials like suede have been used to switch things up. Many brands even have some safety shoe models available in different colors.

Amazon has both women and men fashionable safety shoes. Just ensure that your pick ticks other important boxes.

Your budget

We know all too well that money is buying power. The amazing qualities you desire in a safety shoe can only be yours when you get them. If you are working on a budget, please check the prices before you fall in love with some shoes. Nevertheless, Amazon has some affordable safety shoes for your pick.

However, don’t be unnecessarily frugal! A few extra bucks invested in safety shoes could be the difference between productive and unproductive workdays. Also, you can ultimately save the pain and stress involved in feet injury or pain and probably, back pain.

Time for care

Safety shoes need to be cared for appropriately, so they can last longer. Some materials require more care than others. If you are extremely busy and can’t be bothered with fussing over some shoes, then don’t buy leather or suede shoes. Rubber shoes may suit you well because are easy to clean.

In conclusion,

Safety shoes are important and must be appropriate for you. Don’t be in haste! Ensure that you make adequate research and check out reviews from persons with similar workplace and personal factors to you.

Listen to your feet! When it comes to safety shoes, let your feet do the talking! If your feet say it loves a shoe, listen! If your feet don’t love them, don’t force it! Ultimately, the best safety shoes are a perfect blend of protection and comfort.

Did you enjoy reading this article? Have we helped in narrowing your choices? We hope we have made a difference in your journey to choosing the perfect safety shoe. Let us hear your thoughts in the comments section. Also, tell us what you think we missed out.

ATTENTION: We are committed to your safety needs including your family’s safety. For this reason we have this App for you: Keep Me Safe Family Locator.

Its features include GPS tracker, SOS signal, audio, and video recording, chat and voice notes, parental control, etc. This video can get you started!

Available: Google Play Store.