Why is Slip Resistant Footwear Important?
12 May 2023 | Admin
SRA, SRB and SRC are terms you might have seen a lot while looking through safety footwear on our website. And while you probably know that they are related to grip and slip resistance, some of the finer details might not be so familiar or clear. But getting to know these finer points could be a big help to you at work from day to day, whether you’re out in the rain on the rails, using heavy machinery on the building site or working in a warehouse or kitchen.
Slips, trips, and falls in the workplace
It’s important that we know about grip. Recent HSE statistics show that last year, slips, trips and falls accounted for a third of all non-fatal injuries in the workplace – a staggering 147,000 accidents in 12 months. HSE data also shows that less than 1% of occupational accidents involve toe or physical foot injuries. This data is a sobering reminder that you can put all the toe caps and midsoles and cushioning you want in a boot, but if the sole isn’t up to scratch, you could be putting yourself or your team in real danger.
In some roles, a particular SR rating might be recommended, while in others it could be a specific requirement. With safety standards being updated frequently, things can get a little confusing. So, in this blog we will explain the current requirements for EN ISO 20345:2022.
The recent changes to EN ISO 20345
The safety standards for protective footwear (EN ISO 20345:2011) have been updated. For boots tested under the new EN ISO 20345:2022 standards, SRA, SRB and SRC codes will no longer be used. These codes are being removed because slip resistance is now considered a mandatory requirement for general safety footwear and so they will have automatically met this standard if it is a safety boot.
So, if you buy a new pair of boots, it's possible they will have been tested using the updated EN ISO 20345:2022 standards, so the old slip-resistance code might not be there - but they will still have passed the mandatory grip test. It's also equally possible that new boots will still have the older SRA, B or C markings, as new safety boots can still be tested under the old standards for several years yet.
With that said, Total Workwear still have many products in our footwear section that conform to EN ISO 20345:2011 but not to the updated 2022 standard. EN ISO 20345:2011 still uses the SRA, SRB and SRC codes and considering they are still an important part of some of our slip resistant footwear, we will now explain how each code is tested and assigned to our safety footwear.
Slip rating and testing
SRA graded footwear is tested on a ceramic tile floor upon which a solution called sodium Lauryl sulphate (NaLS) is applied. This solution acts as a lubricant to gauge the slip resistance of the footwear in slippery conditions. The slip resistance is determined based on the frictional force of the item of footwear i.e., its ability to resist slipping over the surface. The results are expressed as the dynamic coefficient of friction.
SRB graded footwear follows a similar test method as the SRA test described above but the test is performed on a steel floor with glycerol.
SRC graded footwear is the marking given to an item of footwear if the outsole passes both the ceramic tile test (SRA) and the steel floor test (SRB).
S U M M A R Y
Slip resistance can be an extremely useful attribute in your safety footwear especially when working in the rain on the rails, using heavy machinery on the building site or working in a warehouse or kitchen. Statistics show that last year, slips, trips and falls accounted for a third of all non-fatal injuries in the workplace – a staggering 147,000 accidents in 12 months. The safety standard EN ISO 20345 covers slip resistance, among other things, and this standard was updated in 2022. The latest update has discarded the slip rating codes (SRA, SRB and SRC). However, a vast amount of our slip resistant footwear products still only conforms to EN ISO 20345:2011 and continue to use the slip rating codes. Although we don't have a dedicated category for slip resistant footwear, you are able to refine your search results to slip resistant products from the safety footwear section.To view our safety footwear section.