Dielectric footwear is invaluable in protecting workers from the dangers of touch and step voltage. Many electric utility companies and contractors are now requiring that such footwear be worn for the entire workday. Many utility workers lives' have been saved by dielectric footwear when something they were standing on suddenly became energized without their knowledge. Without the proper footwear, such incidents are deadly!
There are a few different standards governing dielectric footwear. You may recognize ASTM F2413-05, Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Foot Protection, which has superceded the ANSI Z41 (EHZ41). This standard primarily deals with impact and compression protection, as well as providing protection for very low voltage work. There are dielectric shoes that don't comply fully with this standard because they don't have a steel toe, and provide no compression protection. ASTM F1117 defines the standards for purely dielectric footwear, including rubbers, boots and galoshes. Dielectric footwear is tested to extremely strict specifications in order to comply with this standard. These tips can help you find out what you need to know about the standards for dielectric footwear, and help you purchase the best footwear for your workplace:
- Understand the guidelines for dielectric footwear.
- Buy ASTM F2413-05 dielectric footwear, great for low voltage, indoor work.
- Purchase ASTM F1117 dielectric overshoes for high voltage protection.
Order your own copies of the ASTM guidelines for dielectric footwearASTM F1117 covers acceptance testing of dielectric overfoot and overshoe footwear designed to provide additional isolation or insulation of workers if in accidental contact with energized electrical conductors, apparatus, or circuits. Three styles of overshoe footwear are provided and are designated as rubbers, boots, and galoshes.
Protect your employees from low voltage and falling objects with ASTM F2413-05 dielectric footwearIf your workers are predominantly indoors, and need to be protected from workplace hazards such as falling objects or low voltages, you should look for shoes that comply with ASTM F2413-05. This type of dielectric footwear protect from a broad range of workplace hazards.
For protection up to 20KV, purchase dielectric footwear that meets or exceeds ASTM F1117 and F1116For outdoor utility work, and protection from higher voltages, up to 20 kilovolts, you will want to purchase dielectric boots and overshoes that are certified by ASTM F1117 and F1116. Online safety equipment retailers most commonly provide a dielectric footwear list that includes overshoes and boots.
- In order to find dielectric footwear that best meets your needs, make sure that you accurately determine the level of protection that is needed for your workplace. The unique hazards of your work environment will determine whether or not you need an overshoe, or boot, or some other form of dielectric footwear.