Electric risks are around all of us, all of the time, guidance from the HSE states that a voltage as low as 50 volts applied between two parts of the human body causes a current to flow that can block the electrical signals between the brain and the muscles. This can have a number of effects including:
- Stopping the heart beating properly
- Preventing the person from breathing
- Causing muscle spasms
The exact effect is dependent upon a large number of things including the size of the voltage, which parts of the body are involved, how damp the person is, and the length of time the current flows.
A secondary, equally serious risk is that when an electrical current passes through the human body it heats the tissue along the length of the current flow. This can result in deep burns that often require major surgery and are permanently disabling. Burns are more common with higher voltages but may occur from domestic electricity supplies if the current flows for more than a few fractions of a second.
It is very important to understand that Electrical Hazard is an entirely different specification and standard to Anti-Static and ESD.
Electrical Hazard footwear is classified with an “EH” rating. This safety standard is designed to provide a secondary source of protection when accidentally coming in contact with live electrical circuits to reduce the potential of electric shock. EH boots are not meant to be the main source of protection in an electrical hazard environment.
In accordance with ASTM F2413-18, Electrical Hazard boots are designed to impede the flow of electricity through the shoe and to the ground, reducing the likelihood of electrocution.
EH marked 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.
Recognising the strong growth and focus on clean energy and sustainability around the world Rock Fall has developed the first Electrical Safety range available in Europe. Certified against European and International Electrical Hazard standards they are designed to protect wearers against electrical risks up to 18kV.
This new range is the first footwear in the world to be certified against European, American and Australian standards. This means they not only do they meet International EH standards to 18kV, but they are also CE marked for the European marketplace.
The RF800 PowerMax was developed in partnership with Western Power Distribution who was looking for a product that could meet the Electrical Hazard protection, reduce overall costs and have an enhanced specification which could enable them to make bespoke design choices.
Following a diligent trial and development process, Rock Fall’s RF800 PowerMax was specified on the Western Power Distribution safety footwear tender that took place during 2017.
These advanced products are incredibly feature filled and meet a variety of international safety standards.
These standards include:
- European: EN ISO 20345:2011 SB P CI E FO WRU HRO WR SRC
- American: ASTM F 2413-18 M/I/C EH PR
- Australian/New Zealand: AS/NZS 2210.3:2009 SB P CI E FO WRU HRO WR SRC
As products cannot be both anti-static and Electrical Hazard, this footwear cannot be S3 marked because it includes the requirement of the anti-static standard.
As a result, the boot is also individually marked with several features that are normally covered by the S3 marking, including:
- P – Penetration resistance
- E – Energy absorbing seat region
- FO – Fuel oil resistant
- WRU – Uppers resistant to water penetration / absorption
In addition, to the standards above that would be met by S3 the boot has also passed several other standards including:
- CI – Insulating against cold (-17°C)
- HRO – Outsole resistant to hot contact (300°C)
- WR – Water resistance – whole boot (Waterproof)
- SRC – Slip resistant outsole
During the process, Rock Fall developed a new outsole mould that is compatible with climbing irons and spikes. This product can be re-soled to further reduce the impact on the environment. Another environmental positive is that Rock Fall used a Non-EPTFE Waterproof Membrane by Sympatex® which has far reduced GHG (Greenhouse Gas) and water usage than leading EPTFE membranes. The Non-EPTFE Membrane was enhanced tested for 100 hours – this is 75 times longer than the European standard 80 minutes.
To complete this product, Rock Fall brought together a range of advanced components used in their existing market-leading products. Including:
- FORCE10® Scuff Cap – tested to extraordinary performance levels.
- R-TEN™ Abrasion Resistant Thread – Chemically inert and highly abrasion resistant.
- Ortholite® Climate breathable footbed – reduces foot swelling and provides anti-fatigue and moisture wicking properties
- IMPACT SHIELD™ Internal Digging Plate – reduces the impact into the under-foot and increases stability
Rock Fall have also added a yellow collar, meaning that wearers can be identified to be wearing the correct EH Footwear from a distance by Health and Safety and Site Managers.
Shop Rock Fall’s full range at www.greenham.com
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.