According to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA), safety footwear is essential for workers who face risk of injury from rolling, penetrating or crushing objects. The shoes also are necessary for workers in the vicinity of hot, poisonous or corrosive materials as well as for those exposed to electric hazards. OSHA mandates the use of safety shoes that meet American National Standards Institute (ANSI) standards for these workers. Shoes adhering to ANSI standards meet design and performance requirements for foot protection.
Check with the manufacturer to determine whether the shoe offers compression and impact protection. ANSI-compliant shoes have toe protection that safeguards workers from impact and compression hazards. This is a mandatory requirement for ANSI safety shoes.
Ask the manufacturer the impact measurement of your safety shoes. ANSI safety shoes are tested to comply with an impact measurement of 50 foot pounds or 75 foot pounds. A rating of 50/75 foot pounds indicates that the shoes provide protection for toes from impacts of up to 50/75 foot pounds respectively.
Check the compression measurement of your safety shoes. ANSI safety shoes adhere to compression measurements of either 50, which equals 1,750 pounds, or 75, which equals 2,500 pounds. A 50 rating protects the toe from compressive weights of up to 1,750 pounds; a 75 rating provides protection from compressive weights of up to 2,500 pounds.
Determine whether the shoes comply with metatarsal, conducive, electric hazard and static dissipative requirements. Metatarsal compliance ensures protection of the metatarsal and toe regions. Metatarsal ANSI rating should be 30, 50 or 75 foot pounds. Conducive shoes protect by helping discharge static electricity from the worker’s body to the ground; ANSI compliance requires electrical resistance between 0 and 500,000 ohms. Electric Hazard ANSI shoes offer shock-resistant heels and soles and are capable of tolerating 14,000 volts applied at 60 hertz for a minute.
Look for puncture resistance for protection against piercing objects. ANSI shoes with this property tolerate a minimum force of 270 pounds.
Check for the ANSI identification code on the shoes. It describes the ANSI standard and the footwear properties. For example, the mark ANSI Z41 PT 99 F I/75 C/75 Mt/75 EH PR indicates the following: • ANSI Z41 PT 99 – ANSI standard. PT is Protective Toe and 99 indicates the year of ANSI standard with which the shoe complies • F I/75 C/75 – Female; Impact and Compression rating • Mt/75 EH PR – Reference to metatarsal, electric hazard and puncture-resistant properties
It is not necessary for ANSI shoes to meet all of the requirements described in steps 4 and 5.