Rock Fall have continued to expand and diversify its range of safety boots in recent years targeting new markets and standards. In this article, we will talk about the differences in protection between Anti-Static, Electrostatic discharge (ESD) and Electrical Hazard, with Paul Wilson, Marketing Manager, Rock Fall.


1. What are anti-static shoes?

Anti-static shoes conduct static electricity through the insole, linings, outsole and into the ground, helping regulate the build-up of electrical charge on a person’s body and help protect against the dangers of static build-up in the workplace.

2. What is the aim of anti-static shoes?

Anti-static shoes are used to reduce the change of sparks igniting flammable substances or vapours. It will also minimise the risk of electric shocks from electrical equipment and live parts. The aim is, therefore, to protect those wearing safety shoes (and their colleagues) from dangers related to electrostatic build-up.

3. What is the electrical resistance in anti-static shoes?

Anti-Static shoes have an electrical resistance between 0.1 and 1000 megaohm (M), measured according to EN 20344:2011.

4. What is the difference between ESD and Anti-Static footwear?

Electrostatic discharge (ESD) footwear has the same benefit as Anti-Static, however, its resistance range is much lower. They have an electrical resistance between 0.1 and just 35 megaohms (M), measured according to EN 20344:2011.

For this reason, all ESD compliant footwear is anti-static, however not all anti-static footwear is ESD compliant.

5. So is electrical hazard footwear similar too?

No, it is very important to understand that Electrical Hazard is an entirely different specification and standard to Anti-Static and ESD.

Electrical Hazard boots are designed to impede the flow of electricity through the shoe and to the ground, reducing the likelihood of electrocution, in accordance with ASTM F2413-11.

The outer surface of the sole and heel shouldn’t be penetrated by any electrically conductive component, like nails in the heel.

6. What voltage must electrical hazard footwear withstand?

Electrical Hazard shock resistant footwear must be capable of withstanding the application of 18,000 volts at 60 Hz for 1 minute with no current flow or leakage in excess of 1.0 milliampere.

Electrical Hazard boots are not meant to be the main source of protection in an electrical hazard environment. They are designed to be used as a secondary source of protection.

Make sure you are aware of the different standards and the type of protection you need when choosing safety shoes.

All Greenham safety footwear is clearly marked to indicate which standard it reaches. Explore the full range here.

Disclaimer: The information provided through Greenham Pulse is for general guidance only and is not legal advice. Greenham Pulse is not a substitute for Health and Safety consultancy. You should seek independent advice about any legal matter.