Currently there is no single accepted international safety standard for protective footwear, but many countries recognise the following industrial footwear standards: the European EN ISO 20345 (which is also recognised as a British Safety Standard in the United Kingdom), ASTM from the United States, CSA from Canada and SS513 from Singapore (which is identical in many ways to the EN standard). BS EN ISO 20345 was finalised in 2004 and superseded the previous standards of participating countries in 2005. The first step in safety boots or industrial footwear selection is to conduct a hazard assessment of the work environment. A hazard assessment is extremely important and should not be overlooked. The type of safety shoes you choose will depend on the hazards to which the worker is exposed. Hazards to the foot include equipment, electricity, chemicals, sharp objects, and machinery. Exposure to these hazards can result in broken bones, burns, or in extreme cases, amputation and loss of the use of the foot and lower leg. Protective toe caps are generally fitted to safety boots designed to provide impact and compression resistance. Traditionally, these have been made from steel, although aluminium types are also available, and, more recently, plastic or composite non-metallic materials have entered the marketplace in industrial boots design.
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