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!

The green triangle:

CSA Z195 green triangle logo The green triangle indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 1 protective toecap.

These boots are intended for heavy industrial work environments, especially that of construction where sharp objects (such as nails) are present.

The yellow triangle:

CSA Z195 yellow triangle logo The yellow triangle indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 2 protective toecap.

These boots are intended for light industrial work environments requiring puncture protection as well as toe protection.

The blue rectangle:

CSA Z195 blue rectangle logo

The blue rectangle indicates a Grade 1 protective toecap with no puncture-resistant sole.

These boots are intended for industrial work environments not requiring puncture protection.

The grey rectangle:

CSA Z195 grey rectangle logo

The grey rectangle indicates a Grade 2 protective toecap with no puncture-resistant sole.

These boots are intended for industrial and non-industrial work environments not requiring puncture protection.

The white rectangle with orange Greek letter omega:

CSA Z195 white rectangle with orange Greek letter omega logo

The white rectangle with orange Greek letter omega indicates electric-shock protective footwear.

These boots are intended 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.

Yellow rectangle with black SD and R:

CSA Z195 Yellow rectangle with black SD and R logo

The yellow rectangle with black SD and R is 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.

These boots are intended 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 with black SD, plus sign and and R:

CSA Z195 Yellow rectangle with black SD and R logo

The yellow rectangle with black SD, plus sign and R indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 2 protective toecap (super-static dissipative footwear).

These boots are intended 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 triangle with white C:

CSA Z195 Red triangle with white C logo

The red triangle with white C indicates electrically conductive footwear.

These boots are intended 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 white M:

CSA Z195 Red triangle with white C logo

The dark grey rectangle with M letter indicates metatarsal protection. Note: Toe protection is required for all metatarsal protective footwear.

These boots are intended for industrial work environments where heavy objects can hurt the metatarsal region of the foot.

White rectangle with tree:

CSA Z195 white rectangle with tree

The white rectangle with tree symbol footwear provides protection when using chainsaws.

These boots are intended for forestry workers and others who work with or around hand-held chainsaws and other cutting tools.

Leslie Molin

Market Segment Manager - Personal Safety

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