AS/NZS 2210.1 recommends that safety footwear should be worn to reduce foot injuries caused by contact with moving or falling objects, sharp materials that may penetrate through the sole or uppers, friction, contact with chemicals, heat, molten metals, slipping and electrical hazards.


A risk assessment identifying all possible foot hazards is essential before implementing a footwear protection programme. It is important to note that safety footwear can only provide a limited degree of protection against hazards in the workplace.

Typical hazards may include:

  • Slipping due to surface type & condition and wet or dry state (including type of liquid)
  • Dropped or falling objects causing crushing or cutting injuries
  • Moving plant & equipment causing crushing injuries
  • Sharp objects with the potential to puncture or penetrate
  • Exposure to extremes of temperature including welding and hot metal operations
  • Chemical spills and other hazardous or toxic substances
  • Unsafe electrical equipment
  • Static electricity discharge can cause harm to workers and equipment
  • Uneven terrain
  • High levels of physical activity and duration of shifts causing foot soreness/discomfort

footwear selection elements

Rubber  Heat resistant to 300 degrees Celcius
TPU Heat resistant to 130 – 140 degrees Celcius
PU Heat resistant to 130 – 140 degrees Celcius
PVC Waterproof, oil/fat/acid resistant
Steel 200 Joules/1500 Newtons
Composite 200 Joules/1500 Newtons
Anti-Static Allows static electricity to earth
Conductive Allows mains & static electricity to earth
Insulating Protects against high voltage
Metatarsal Guard Protects the metatarsal bones of the foot
Steel Midsole Penetration resistant layer imbedded into the sole

Useful references

AS/NZS 2210.1:2010  Safety, protective and occupational footwear – Guide to selection, care and use.

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