ASTM F2413-18 Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear
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Feet and toes can suffer from broken bones, punctures and other injuries in the workplace – some severe enough to result in amputation. Moving vehicles, falling objects, unguarded machinery, chemical and metal splashes, electric shock and power tools can also pose dangers to feet. In addition to pain, suffering and temporary or permanent disability, injuries can cause thousands of dollars in medical bills, lost productivity, workers comp claims, legal settlements and lost time. According to the U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics there were 93,610 foot injury cases resulting in days away from 2021 to 2022, and production, transportation and material moving occupations accounted for the most foot injuries.
About the Standard
ASTM F2413-18 covers the minimum design, performance, testing, and classification requirements, and prescribes fit, function, and performance criteria for footwear designed to be worn to provide protection against a variety of workplace hazards that can potentially result in injury. It is not meant to serve as a detailed manufacturing or purchasing specification, but can be referenced in purchase contracts to ensure that minimum performance requirements are met.
It is important to note that any changes to the safety toe footwear that alter its original components – such as replacing aftermarket footbeds or inserts – could render the ASTM marking invalid. Additionally, the standard does not apply to overshoes with safety toe caps or strap-on devices with safety toes.
Footwear conforming to ASTM F2413-18 shall meet the performance requirements for the following:
- Impact resistance for the toe area of footwear
- Compression resistance for the toe area of footwear
- Metatarsal protection that reduces the chance of injury to the metatarsal bones at the top of the foot
- Conductive properties which reduce hazards that may result from static electricity buildup, and reduce the possibility of ignition of explosives and volatile chemicals
- Electric shock resistance
- Static dissipative (SD) properties to reduce hazards due to excessively low footwear resistance that may exist where SD footwear is required
- Puncture resistance of footwear bottoms
- Chain saw cut resistance
- Dielectric insulation.
This international standard was developed in accordance with internationally recognized principles on standardization established in the Decision on Principles for the Development of International Standards, Guides and Recommendations issued by the World Trade Organization Technical Barriers to Trade (TBT) Committee.
Protective Footwear Features
Toe caps made of steel, alloy or a composite material provide protection against crushing injuries. Steel toe caps offer the highest level of protection when it comes to dropped objects and crushing or compression injuries caused by moving vehicles or machinery. Alloy toe caps are comparable in protection levels to steel, but because the material is thinner and up to 50% lighter than steel, it gives toes more room in the toe box and is more comfortable to wear over longer periods of time. Composite toe caps are also lightweight and comfortable. They don’t conduct heat, cold or electricity, so they protect feet from some environmental conditions as well as electrical shock.
Many styles of workplace footwear combine toe caps with other features, such as metatarsal protectors, cleats that help prevent falls by giving feet traction on slippery or icy surfaces and insoles that dissipate energy. Because footwear is worn continuously on the job, comfort should go hand in hand with protection. Specially designed insoles, heel cushions that reduce pressure on the heel, arch pads and compression socks can lessen fatigue and allow the wearer to perform his or her work-related duties without experiencing pain or discomfort.
For More Information
The standard is available from ASTM International at: www.astm.org/f2413-18.html. It is also part of the ASTM F2412 / ASTM F2413 – Foot Protection and Performance Package, which is available at: https://webstore.ansi.org/standards/astm/astmf2412f2413footprotection WMHS
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