What is slip resistance?
At Essential Safety Wear, we stock a range of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) including high—visibility workwear, safety boots, harnesses, respiratory masks, gloves (and, ultimately, the list goes on!).
Many of these high-quality safety products offer slip-resistance, which is undoubtedly a highly-important feature of protective equipment and clothing for a wide range of industries.
After all, slippery surfaces causing trips and falls offer a huge hazard in many work industries. But what does ‘slip-resistance’ actually mean and how can this safety workwear feature protect you from slips, trips and falls in the workplace?
What is the advantage of wearing slip-resistant footwear?
Although an employer can apply control measures, such as anti-slip flooring, to reduce the risk levels of slips, trips and falls in their workplace, there is, ultimately, still the possibility of employees slipping over and injuring themselves.
Slip-resistant footwear can therefore help to eliminate further risk of falls and is, as a result, a popular choice of work uniform for most employers.
In fact, even when employers do not include the wearing of anti-slip resistant footwear, most employees will take responsibility of their own safety and opt for anti-slip footwear.
As a supplier of anti-slip footwear, here at Essential Safety Wear, we are sure to provide the correct information on all of our products, stating the standards the products have reached in tests for slip-resistant performance.
Some test methods for slip resistance, outlined by the HSE (Health and Safety Executive)
The safety features of footwear, including slip resistance, are tested according to a set of European test standards written into EN ISO 20344:2004 (A1:2007). These are:
EN ISO 20345:2004 (A1:2007) for safety footwear.
EN ISO 20346:2004 (A1:2007) for protective footwear.
EN ISO 20347:2004 (A1:2007) for occupational footwear.
It is important to note that footwear which has passed the EN test for slip resistance will be marked with one of the following codes, SRA, SRB or SRC.
The codes indicate that the footwear has met the specified requirements when it was tested. The codes refer to the following factors:
SRA – The footwear has been tested on ceramic tile, wetted with dilute soap solution.
SRB – The footwear has been tested on smooth steel, with glycerol.
SRC – The footwear has been tested under both the above conditions.
According to the HSE, you should consider, however, that these test surfaces are not wholly representative of all underfoot surfaces, so you may require additional information to find the best slip-resistant shoes for your particular place of work.
Often, safety footwear can be further tested for how effective they are in certain conditions, to find out if they are suited for a particular working environment.
If you are concerned about choosing the correct slip-resistance for your particular workplace, then you should discuss this with your employer, if you have not already been advised.