The abbreviation stands for Canadian Standards Association or CSA International. The members of this group provide products that are tested and certified for high quality and safety standards. These products and services may be from mechanical, electrical, gas, plumbing and great variety of other sectors and services.
CSA certification is recognized in Canada, USA and other countries around the world. CSA marks assures safety and quality of billions of products worldwide. These marks and certification indicate that the products and services have been tested to meet the Canadian and US standards. In case of premium work boots, the certification indicates that they meet the requirements indicated by CSA.
All CSA approves products are listed on the CSA Group Product Listing. To ascertain that the product you considering is listed visit the website. Enter the product type, industry and/or manufacturers name/location. You can even enter the listing record information to learn if your work boots are CSA approved.
What are CSA Approved Boots?
Canadian Safety Standards are recommended by the CSA for work footwear. Canada Safety Association Standard (CSA) has used symbols on safety work boots for over three decades. Each of these symbols represents a safety criterion for all safety equipment, apparel and footwear bought in Canada.
The Logos and Symbols
Logo or logotype means word imprint in Greek. Some examples are CSA, CNN, Coca Cola, NASA, etc. While a Symbol is a picture like the Apple, Red Cross, Nike, Shell, etc. There are combination marks where the logos and symbols are fused. For example – Starbucks, Dominos, AT&T, etc. In the case of CSA approved boots you will see the following marks.
Green triangle with CSA logo – This symbol indicates that the sole offers puncture protection and has a Grade 1 protective toe. Grade 1 toes offer protection in heavy work environments such as machine shops, construction, etc., where sharp objects and heavy equipment and machines are present.
Yellow triangle with the registered symbol (R) – This symbol indicates puncture protection. The boot also has a Grade 2 protective toe that offers protection from light industrial working conditions.
Grey rectangle with registered symbol (R) – This mark indicates that the boot has a Grade 2 protective toe that withstands 90 joules of impact and compression. It is meant for non-industrial work that does not require sole puncture protection.
White rectangle with an Omega in orange and registered symbol (R) – Omega is a symbol for electrical resistance. It is read as Ohms. Any industrial environment has live wires. Boots and apparel with this symbol offer protection from electric shock.
Yellow rectangle with letter SD, CSA symbol and grounding symbol – Yellow rectangle stands on its narrow side. The upper have has the letters SD. The lower half has the CSA symbol next to the grounding symbol. These letters and symbols are printed in green. This indicates that the boot can dissipate electrostatic charge slowly in a controlled manner. Static discharge in an industrial environment or a warehouse can spell disaster for the property, workers and equipment.
Red rectangle, C & registered symbol (R) in black– The red rectangle with a capital C printed in black accompanied by a grounding symbol and registered symbol (R) indicates soles with electrical conductivity. These boots are useful in work environments with low power charges of electricity. These charges can damage equipment and hurt workers.
White rectangle with green fir tree & registered symbol (R) – indicates that the boot offers protection from chainsaws. These boots are ideal for logger, forestry workers, lumberjacks, and other personnel who use chainsaws.
Blue square with CSA symbol & registered symbol (R) – indicates that the boot has a Grade 1 protective toe. This boot is suitable for all work environments not enlisted above.
Black rectangle with white M & registered symbol (R) – The mark indicates metatarsal protection. The boot offers protection while handling heavy objects. Toe protection is also built into the boot.
Yellow rectangle with SD+ & CSA symbol – indicates Super Static Dissipative boots with a puncture resistant sole and Grade 2 toe cap for protection from impact and compression. The boots are tested according to ASTMF2412 standards and offer a resistance of 106 Ohms to 3.5 x 107 Ohms.
White square with a boot, hammer and letters “MT” – The mark indicates Steel Toe Protection. The position of the hammer indicates the region it protects. MT stands for Metal Toe.
White square with a boot, hammer and letter “CT” – The mark indicates c. The position of the hammer indicates the region it protects. CT stands for Composite Toe. These boots are lighter than Steel Toe boots and metal-free.
White square with a boot, 6 parallel lines at the bottom and letters “SP” – The mark indicates Steel Plate Protection. The 6 lines at the bottom indicate the sole’s puncture resistance.
White square with a boot, 6 parallel lines at the bottom and letters “CP” – The mark indicates Composite Plate Protection. The 6 lines at the bottom indicate the sole’s puncture resistance. These boots are metal-free and lightweight.
Reading the Code on the Label
The safety provided by the footwear is indicated by a code printed on it. These boots follow at least 1 of the 5 criteria. The criteria followed by the manufacturer is indicated by an alphanumeric code approved by Canadian Standards Association (CSA). The code is usually printed inside the shoe.
This code is a combination of 5 symbols;
- 1, 2 or 0
- P or 0
- M or 0
- E, S or C
- X or 0
The first code informs if the boots has a steel toe cap. A steel toe cap is a protection device embedded or constructed into the toe box of the boot.
- 0 means there is no steel cap
- 1 means the steel toe can resist an impact of 125 joules. This means the toe cap can bear the impact of an object weighing 22.7 kg falling from the height of 56 cm
- 2 means the boot can withstand an impact of 90 joules
The second code informs if the boot has a protective sole. It protects against punctures along the arches of the foot and sole.
- P means it carries protection
- 0 means there is no protection
The third code informs if the boot has the metatarsus protection. This protection guards against collisions and shocks.
- M indicates the presence of metatarsal protection
- 0 indicates its absence.
The fourth code informs if the boot has electrical properties.
- E indicates shock resistance
- S means the boot dissipates or disperses static electrical charge
- C indicates electrical conductivity.
The fifth and the last code informs if the boot offers protection against chainsaws.
- X indicates the boot offers protection
- 0 indicates it does not
Special Features on CSA approved Boots
The additional features on these work boots are;
Waterproof – These boots are constructed from water-resistant materials. The design and construction are such that it protects the foot and prevents it from getting wet. You can walk through and work in places with excess of water.
Non-metallic – These boots are security-friendly as they are 100% non-metallic. The safety toes, eyelets, puncture-resistant sole guards, etc. are made of non-metallic hardware. This feature not only avoids activating security screening devices but also minimizes marking and scratching of work surfaces.
Energy-return footbed – As the personnel remain on foot or walk around all day. Manufacturers have built in polyurethane and/or foam footbeds that compress and rebound. Such footbeds not only return energy but also offer higher level of comfort and control of the work boot.
Orthotic insole – Molded and blown polyurethane pads for the base of the hallux or ball of the foot and heel are designed into these boots. They not only cushion and cradle the foot but also issues absorb shock. They are covered in moisture or sweat-absorbing fabric.
What are Safety Standards?
These are a set of best practices and Personnel Protective Equipment (PPE) suggested by agencies such as CSA. These practices and equipment ensure the safety of the personnel for better productivity. These standards ensure lesser liabilities, health and security issues for the employers and employees.
How do work boots enlist as PPE?
Any device, clothing, protection or equipment used to protect the user or prevent injury or illness is enlisted at PPE.
CSA approved work boots prevent physical contact with the work environment or injury to the feet. They are the last line of defense after the hazards have been eliminated through administrative and/or engineering means.
Work boots offer protection against physical, biological, chemical or environmental safety risks or hazards.
How to pick the best work boots?
Before choosing the CSA-approved boots consider the following;
- Nature of hazard
- Type of protection required
- Risks, hazards & consequences
- Compatibility with other equipment in use
- Function & fitting
- Freedom of movement, dexterity & comfort
- Users health status
- Period or length of use
- Use & maintenance of equipment
Also ensure there is sufficient number of appropriate boots are available while undertaking the task.
What are the benefits of CSA approved boots?
These work boots are Personal Protective Equipment (PPE). They do not eliminate the hazard but serve as a first line of defense against its effects. In the event of failure or absence of the boots the destructive effects of the hazard may be felt.
It is the employer’s obligatory duty to prove the safety equipment as mentioned under Part II; 6(2) (c). Non-compliance leads to persecution.
The benefits are;
- Improved confidence in work environment & machines
- Employers feel motivated to increase production
- Reduced number of accidents or incidents
- Controlled risks from working conditions & environment
- Reduced risk to chemical exposure
- Safer workplace
- Effective protection to regulations, practices & equipment