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  • Eric HuardGreen Triangle? Blue Square? Circle with a Piece Missing?! What the F…Footwear?

    We pay a lot of attention to our safety gear selection, but one aspect of personal protective equipment that often gets overlooked is our footwear. Not all safety footwear is created equal – and those little symbols you see on protective footwear actually mean something!

    As a rule of thumb, the green CSA triangle (which indicates toe and sole puncture protection) and the orange omega symbol (indicating electrical shock) are standard in most industrial locations,  but it’s important to know the differences when selecting footwear so you don’t end up with the wrong kind.

    The table below (obtained from CCOHS) reviews the different CSA certified markings, criteria, and applications that you’ll find stamped or patched on protective footwear.

    Check your boots out to see which symbols are on them. The wrong time to figure out that you are wearing the wrong type of protection is when an accident happens!

    MarkingCriteria Intended Application
    Green triangle indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 1 protective toecap.For heavy industrial work environments, especially that of construction where sharp objects (such as nails) are present.
    Yellow triangle indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 2 protective toecap.For light industrial work environments requiring puncture protection as well as toe protection.
    Blue rectangle indicates a Grade 1 protective toecap with no puncture-resistant sole.For industrial work environments not requiring puncture protection.
    Grey rectangle indicates a Grade 2 protective toecap with no puncture-resistant sole.For industrial and non-industrial work environments not requiring puncture protection.
    White rectangle with orange Greek letter omega indicates electric-shock protective footwear.For industrial work environments where accidental contact with live electoral conductors can occur. Warning: Electrical shock resistance deteriorates with wear and in a wet environment.
    For industrial work environments where accidental contact with live electoral conductors can occur. Warning: Electrical shock resistance deteriorates with wear and in a wet environment.For industrial work environments where a static discharge can create a hazard for workers or equipment. Warning: This footwear should not be used where contact with live electrical conductors can occur.
    Yellow rectangle indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 2 protective toecap (super-static dissipative footwear).For industrial work environments where a static discharge can create a hazard for workers or equipment. Warning: This footwear should not be used where contact with live electrical conductors can occur.
    Red rectangle with white C letter indicates electrically conductive footwear.For industrial work environments where low-power electrical changes can create a hazard for workers or equipment. Warning: This footwear should not be used where contact with live electrical conductors can occur.
    Dark grey rectangle with M letter indicates metatarsal protection. Note: Toe protection is required for all metatarsal protective footwear.For industrial work environments where heavy objects can hurt the metatarsal region of the foot.
    White label with green fir tree symbol footwear provides protection when using chainsaws.For forestry workers and others who work with or around hand-held chainsaws and other cutting tools.

    Need some helping deciding what footwear is best for your job? Get in touch with me.

    Eric Huard | Market Segment Manager, Personal Safety
    Levitt-Safety Limited Oakville


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