The latest ASTM International standards superseded the ANSI standards in 2005. This means that if you read a label stating ANSI Steel Toe Boots, they are complying with the latest ASTM Standards too. This is because the manufacturers have to make the safety compliant boots to the latest standards. The steel toe boots will be impact and compression resistant. And they should also carry a Certificate of Conformance issued by a third-party test laboratory.
Relationship between ANSI and the Current Standards
The latest ASTM Standards presently are the F 2412 and F 2413. They have been enhanced by the ASTM F2413-18. We will discuss the latest updates at the end of this discussion. But let us discuss the evolution of safety standards and their applications. The F 2412 informs of the test methods applicable to foot protection. The F 2413 specifies the performance requirements of this footwear.
These two ASTM Standards replaced the ANSI Z41 standard. These standards state the Standards to be observed for Personal Protection (for Protective Footwear). The two new standards are under the jurisdiction of the Committee F13 of the ASTM International. This committee oversees the standards on Pedestrian or Walkway Safety & Footwear.
The American National Standards Institute (ANSI) Z41 Committee that oversaw the Personal Protection-Protective Footwear merged into the ASTM International Committee F13 in 2005. This merger with the F13 oversaw the redrafting of ANSI Z41 Standards for performance requirements for safety footwear and related test methods.
The new ATSM standards made minimal changes to the ANSI Z41 1999 standard withdrawn in 2005. The ASTM F 2412 and F 2413 Standards continue to use the same performance standards approves by ANSI Standards observed since 1967. Though the test methods have improved. These new standards are a long-standing effort in providing maximum protection against toe, sole, and metatarsal injuries.
The new ASTM standard also expanded the performance requirements on the 30, 50, and 75 rating boots for impact and compression resistance. The Dielectric boots were now classified as Static Dissipative boots of type I, II, and III.
It was expected that the existing inventory on safety products and information regarding them be updated. This means the labels stating compliance with the ANSI Z41 1999 standard should also comply with the latest updates on the ASTM Standards. The Manufacturers are obligated to review the latest documents discussing the changes to ensure product compliance.
As there were products compliant with the ANSI Z41 1999 standard already in the inventory. Sufficient time was given to transition to the latest ASTM Standards. And the next line of production was expected to observe the updated standards to offer maximum safety to the wearer. The references to the old ANSI Standard were expected to be replaced by the new ASTM ones.
The footwear manufacturers were expected to educate the users and customers on the differences between the ANSI and ASTM Standards. This understanding ensures compliance with the latest safety standards. In other words, ANSI Steel Toe Boots will offer impact and compression protection equivalent to ASTM-compliant boots.
The manufacturers are not prohibited from marking the product with the outdated ANSI standard. But they should be able to provide a reference for a comparative study regarding the protection offered by the ANSI-labelled boots. As long as the standards are publicly available and the user of the product is informed through technically current documentation, boots with ANSI labels are acceptable. The user should be able to request information on a specification and find a dated regulation cited in the ANSI Z41 document.
ASTM Standards are officially designated upon approval and publication. An approval date is assigned to them, which carries the year and date. If any technical changes are made to the standards; the year and date are mentioned in the revisions.
The manufacturers are expected to monitor these F13.30 activities to keep current on the changes. This would help them include the advancements in materials and technology in their products. These advanced PPE will benefit the users, i.e., the employees.
Label on the ANSI Steel Toe Boots Explained
OSHA approved footwear offers essential protection from injury by crushing, penetrating, or rolling objects. These boots should also protect the worker from electrical hazards and poisonous, hot, or corrosive materials in their vicinity.
OSHA had mandated the boots that meet the ANSI standards. The safety boot design and construction that met the design and performance specifications approved by OSHA were mandatory. ASTM Standards later replaced ANSI Standards.
The Z41 Standard for ANSI Steel Toe Boots were as follows;
The boots should have toe protection built into them. This would protect the workers’ feet from compression and impact hazards.
The impact-resistant boots should be able to withstand 50 or 75 foot-pounds of force. The 50 and 75 ratings indicated that the boot carried features that offered protection against 50 or 75 foot-pounds of force, respectively.
The compression-resistant boots should be able to withstand a force of 1750 pounds or 2500 pounds. A rating of 50 was given to the boot that tolerated the compressive force of 1750 pounds. While a 75 rating was given to the boot that tolerated 2500 pounds of compressive force.
ANSI compliant boots offered metatarsal protection. This compliance offered protection to the toes and the upper foot. The ANSI rating for Metatarsal protection is 30, 50, and 75 foot-pounds.
They also carried conductive and static dissipative properties. While some boots offer protection from electrical hazards.
Conductive boots should help discharge static electricity to the ground from the worker’s body. The charge should be grounded in a controlled manner. ANSI-compliant boots have an electrical resistance of 0 – 500000 ohms.
Electrical Hazard boots have shock resistant soles and heels. The ANSI-compliant boots can withstand 14000V at 60Hz for a minute in dry conditions. There should be no leakage of current or breach in the boot’s integrity. The current should not be over 1mA.
Puncture-resistant boots offer protection from objects that may impale the sole. ANSI-compliant puncture boots withstand a minimum force of 270 pounds.
All ANSI compliant boots carry legible labels and marks. The ANSI label describes the safety features of the footwear. For example:
ANSI Z41 PT 99
F I/75 C/75
Mt/75 EH PR
Line 1 – ANSI Z41 PT 99
This line indicates the standard this boot complies with, the type of protection it offers, and the date of issuance of this standard. These boots comply with ANSI Z41 Standard, issued in the year 1999. PT stands for Protective Toe.
Line 2 – F I/75 C/75
This line indicates the gender the boot is meant for, besides the impact and compression resistance it offers. F stands for Female. I/75 and C/75 are the impact and compression rating, respectively.
Line 3 – Mt/75 EH PR
This line refers to the other protection this boot offers such as metatarsal guard, electrical hazard protection, and puncture resistance.
ANSI Identification Code
Look for this Identification code while looking for ANSI Steel Toe Boots.
Safety Toes – Boots with this label indicate that they have built-in safety toes that meet and exceed the ANSI Z41 Standard for Protective Toe; issued in the year 1999.
Electrical Hazard – Boots with this label indicates that these boots meet and exceed the ANSI Z41 Standard for electrical hazard boots. They insulate the wearer from equipment and parts that conduct electricity. They have insulating or non-conductive soles that offer secondary protection against 600V at 60 Hz in dry conditions.
Electric Static Dissipative – Boots with this label indicate that they meet and exceed the ANSI Z41 Standard for Type I Static Dissipative footwear. These boots minimize the build-up of static electricity on the wearer. The boots maintain 1-100 mega-ohms of resistance. These boots should not be worn in places where Conductive (Cd) or Electrical Hazard (EH) boots are required.
Metatarsal Guard – Boots with this label indicate that they meet and exceed the ANSI Z41 Standard for Metatarsal Protection. They are designed to protect the metatarsus bones of the upper foot from impact and compression.
Waterproof – Boots with this label are waterproof. Different boot construction may be appropriate for varying conditions.
Slip Resistant – Boots with this label meet and exceed the Mark II Test issued by ASTM Standard F1677. They are slip-resistant, but not slip-proof. The slip-resistance varies on different surfaces.
Insulated – Boots labeled “I” protect from extreme weather. They carry various levels and types of insulation. The insulation may vary according to the style of the shoe. Pick a style best suited to your needs.
Non-Metallic – Boots with this label meet and exceed ANSI Z41 Standard – Class 75 requirements. These toe caps do not conduct cold or heat and do not set off metal detectors.
Composite Toes – Boots with this label have Composite toes built into them.
Do ANSI Steel Toe Boots have to meet the performance requirements specified in the ASTM F2413-18?
Yes, all safety footwear for workers manufactured after the date of issuance of ASTM F2413-18 has to comply with the safety standards.
What is ANSI-Z41 Standard?
The standard defines the test methods and performance measurements for safety footwear. The last revision of this standard was in the year 1999. All manufacturers were expected to meet ANSI Z41-1999 Standard. The suppliers and manufacturers were required to get this footwear tested at independent laboratories. The results were to confirm compliance with the standard.
How to tell if the safety footwear is ANSI approved?
According to the OSHA letter, dated February 18, 1994 – look for ANSI Z41. 1 marking on the footwear.
Is ANSI the same as ASTM?
ANSI is a short form for the American National Standards Institute. While ASTM is an American Society for Testing and Materials. These two organizations are different from each other. OSHA used to mandate ANSI standards, which were replaced by ASTM standards in 2005.
What are the three changes brought about by the ASTM F2413-18?
The changes in ASTM Standards heralded an improvement in manufacturing processes. This improved the safety offered by the ANSI Steel Toe Boots, too.
Change 1 – Test Methods for Foot Protection under F2412-18a Standard include detailed diagrams and better-defined test procedures.
Change 2 – The Standard Specifications for the Performance Requirements of Soft Toe Protective Footwear under the Non-Safety/Non-Protective Toe category has been updated to include three levels of Static Dissipation (SD). The labeling will reflect these codes.
Change 3 – A Certificate of Conformance accompanied by a test report from a third party laboratory is mandatory. The Certificate of Conformance should include;
- Name of the third party laboratory
- Name of the company the COC has been issued to
- A reference of the manufacturer such as SKU, model, product category, style, etc.
- Certificate issuance date
- Issue date and report number on the Certificate of Compliance (COC)
- Statement – The manufacturer’s reference (SKU, model, product category, style, etc) meets the performance requirements specified by ASTM F2413-18. The product should have been tested according to the methods mentioned in ASTM F2412-18a besides the list of hazards tested.