Laying a proper foundation for workplace safety starts from the ground up. For a broad range of professions and jobs around the world, the importance of personal protective equipment cannot be overlooked. Just one minor misstep or small accident at the workplace could result in various degrees of injuries. Nobody wants to lose work days, time or money, especially not with today’s unforgiving economy.
Finding the right type of safety footwear is paramount to literally starting your day on the right foot. Fortunately, all safety footwear comes with its own symbols and ratings. However, none has been more responsible for confusing the masses than electric rated shoes. Most of the time, people do not know whether to go with Electric Hazard (EH) or Electro Static Dissipative (ESD) rated safety footwear. Our segment today sheds some light on the electrical aspects of safety footwear and which one matches your job.
What is the Difference Between Electrical Hazard and Electro Static Dissipative Work Boots
EH Rated Work Boots
Easily identifiable by the clear EH symbol sewn into the shoe, Electrical Hazard safety boots are those designed to significantly impede the flow of electric current through the shoe to the ground. By ensuring that you do not form a complete circuit, EH-rated footwear protects you from electrocution even if you touch or step on a live wire. If your job involves open electrical circuits, electrical engineering, maintenance, welding, among others, you may want to seriously think about investing in an Electrical Hazard rated shoe.
ESD Rated Work Boots
Electro Static Dissipating work boots are responsible for a whole different type of electricity. Let’s start from the basics. Your body is a walking isolated conductor of good old electricity. When walking or handling certain materials, the body generates a static charge about it. As a result, the charge builds up and discharges as a painful shock. If you work in a technical environment such as an electronic chip factory or an environment filled with explosive materials, the last thing you want is to give off static electricity all over the place. Wearing shoes rated with ESD ratings ensures that all this additional charge is released safely to the ground without affecting any nearby equipment.
How Electrical Hazard Work Boots Compare to Static Dissipating Boots
You would think that making the decision on what to choose should be somewhat easier after seeing the precise function of both EH and SD rated safety footwear. Unfortunately, this is not always the case. As opposed to deciding on what type of safety toe to wear, the different risks involved here are much more specific. This means that showing up to work in the wrong work boots could lead to severe accidents in the workplace.
For those aiming to protect themselves against any form of electrical shock, then the EH category alone is what you will need. The idea behind electrical hazard shoes is simple enough in that it comprises of zero conductive materials to make it harder to get electrocuted. Thanks to their construction, EH rated work boots help stop the electric current generated by live sources by gradually slowing it down as it comes to your body. Electro static dissipative shoes, on the other hand, deal with static electricity that is already building up in your body. What the SD or ESD rated safety boots do is actually conduct static electricity through the lining, insole, outsole, cement and then ground it.
Hopefully, this information should help provide a deeper understanding of E rated safety shoes and help you find the best pair of work boots to fit all your work needs.