Understanding Occupational footwear: The Significance of EN 20347
In the intricate realm of work safety, understanding and choosing the right footwear is paramount. While many might be familiar with the general safety footwear standards, there's a specific category designed to cater to unique workplace requirements – the Occupational Safety Shoes. Central to this category is the EN 20347 certification, a standard which underlines the fundamental features and specifications of these shoes.
What is EN 20347? EN 20347 is a European standard concerning occupational footwear which is not equipped with a safety toecap. This means that while these shoes provide a substantial degree of protection, they do not guard against risks of toe injuries from falling objects or compression. Instead, they are developed to offer specific resistance against elements like water, oil, or slips, and cater to comfort for prolonged wear.
The Rationale Behind Occupational Safety Shoes:
Specialized Protection: Not every workplace hazard is about falling objects. For professionals in the culinary, healthcare, or service sectors, the main risks revolve around slips, trips, and long hours of standing. Here, the focus is on sole grip, ergonomic design, and breathability.
Comfort Optimized: Given the long hours in certain professions, occupational shoes are designed for extended wear. They typically feature cushioned insoles, arch support, and breathable materials, ensuring foot fatigue is minimized.
Profession-specific Design: Many occupational shoes are made to cater to specific job roles. For instance, chefs might need shoes that resist hot oil spills, while medical professionals might require footwear that's easy to clean and sterilize.
Aesthetic Flexibility: Unlike traditional safety footwear, occupational shoes can be more versatile in design, allowing professionals to maintain a polished appearance without compromising on comfort or basic protective features.
Who Benefits Most from Occupational Safety Shoes? Given their distinct features, several professions stand to gain significantly from these shoes:
Medical Professionals: Those in healthcare need shoes that can withstand long shifts, are easy to clean, and prevent slips in potentially wet environments.
Chefs and Kitchen Staff: In a bustling kitchen, spills are common. Occupational shoes for this sector are designed to resist hot oils, provide excellent grip on slippery floors, and ensure comfort during long hours.
Service Industry Workers: From hotel staff to those in retail, these shoes offer the perfect balance of style, comfort, and basic protective features.
Cleaning Staff: Working in diverse environments, cleaners require footwear that is versatile, offering protection against wet surfaces, chemicals, and extended wear.
In conclusion, while they might not offer the robust protection of traditional safety shoes, occupational safety shoes fill a significant gap in the work footwear market, providing specialized protection for diverse industries.
Occupational Shoes Delivered Worldwide
At Workwear Gurus, we deliver Occupational footwear to a wide variety of locations across the UK, US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand, Ireland, South Africa, Singapore, India, and the UAE. In fact, we send them Europe-wide and across most of the globe.
Also click to see our full range of shoes, safety and non-safety.