Toe Protection Class 30? Class 50? Class 75?

The question came up here in the showroom the other day… a customer had an ANSI Class 30 boot and another that was an ASTM class 75. What’s the difference?

I have to admit that, in spite of having written “The Basics of Foot Protection” (Go here and click on the appropriate “Available Downloads” link to download it), I had no answer to give so I got on Google and started to look for the answer. Here’s what I found out:

The ANSI Z41, which is what the Class 30 mentioned in the title belongs to, has been replaced by the ASTM F 2412-05 and ASTM F 2413-05 Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective Footwear.

Under these new standards, are two tests and two ratings. Let’s break it down a bit…

  • “I” stands for impact resistance which measures the resistance to falling objects.
  • “C” stands for compression resistance which measure the resistance to compression such as a forklift rolling over the toe.

For each of these two there are two levels of protection available:

  • 75
  • 50

This gives us 4 difference levels of protection:

  1. I/50 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 50 lbs dropped from 18″ in height onto the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.
  2. I/75 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 75 lbs dropped from 18″ in height onto the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.
  3. C/50 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 1750 lbs rolled over the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.
  4. C/75 would designate a toe protection that had passed the test of having 2500 lbs rolled over the toe resulting in a dent (or sag) of 0.5″ or less.

Additional markings that may appear under the ASTM standard include:

M – This is a measure of the metatarsal protection available on the boot/shoe. This is measured as “I” (Impact) with the same levels (50 and 75) as the toe protection.

EH – This measures the Electrical Hazard. Boots or shoes with the “EH” marking must be able to withstand 14,000 volts at 60 Hz for 1 minute with no current flow over 3.0 milliamperes.

For more information on foot protection issues and standards, download “The Basics of Foot Protection

Calling on the wives of all the Tim Allens out there!

The first sign of spring is traditionally the robin. The second is the throbbing thumb of the handyman who’s trying to start working on all those projects he’s been putting off because the weather would have rusted the tools if he’d taken them out before now (Hey, that’s the excuse I give my wife so don’t blow it for me. Let’s stick together on this one!).

Wives, we all know that men can be babies when they hurt themselves, so here’s a great little something to thrown into their toolbox so that you won’t have to coddle them every time they get a splinter or hit their thumb with a hammer.

The Handyman First Aid Kit is all the basic first aid supplies he’ll need for those minor burns and scrapes he’s bound to encounter as he gets those “renovation project muscles” activated again.


  • 5 Fabric Adhesive, 3/4″ x 3″ (1.9cm x 7.6cm)
  • 3 Fabric Knuckle
  • 3 Fabric Fingertip
  • 1 Butterfly, Medium 3/8″ x 1-13/16″
  • (0.95cm x 4.6cm)

Dressings and Tape

  • 2 Gauze Pads, 2″ x 2″ (5cm x 5cm), 2/pk
  • 1 Conforming Gauze Roll, 2″ (5cm)
  • 1 First Aid Tape, 1/2″ x 5 yd. (1.3cm x 4.6m)

Wipes and Ointments

  • 6 BZK Towelettes (Antiseptic Cleansing Wipe)
  • 1 First Aid/Burn Cream, 1/32 oz. (0.9g)
  • 3 Antibiotic Ointments, 1/32 oz. (0.9g)

Medications and Instruments

  • 2 Extra-strength Non-Aspirin Tablets, 2
  • 2 Safety Pins
  • First Aid Guide

The best thing about this kit is the price! $5.78 each (as low as $5.11 each if you purchase 20 or more).

You’ll still have to bandage his ow-wee for him but at least you won’t have to abandon him while he’s “dying” to go get the first aid supplies.

Click here for more information or to purchase.

Public Safety Vest Standard

ANSI 207-2006 Public Safety Vest Standard

  • What is “ANSI 207”?

  • Who should wear an ANSI 207 vest?

  • What is the difference between ANSI/ISEA107-2004 and the PSV standard?

  • Does ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 require a breakaway design?

  • Does ANSI/ISEA 207-2006 require the use of colors to identify emergency personnel?


Want the answers to these questions? Download Ergodyne’s Technical Bulletin on the ANSI 207-2006 Public Safety Vest Standard from their website here.

ANSI Z87 and Z87+… What’s the difference?

No, that little number Z87 on the inside of the arm of your safety glasses is not the part number (We get at least 2 or 3 calls a month from customers who give us the Z87 number, believing it to be the part number of the glasses that they are holding), it’s the number that lets you know that the glasses you are holding are rated and pass the Z87 standard from ANSI for eye protection.

You may have noticed, however, that recently the Z87 sometimes has a little “+” sign after it. What does that mean?

Since 2003, the ANSI Standard for eye protection began adding a new rating, or rather dividing the standard in two: high impact (Z87+) and basic impact (Z87).

Z87+ or High impact standard glasses must pass a much more stringent set of tests than the basic or Z87 impact standard.

Z87+ glasses must pass the “high mass” test which consists of dropping a 500 gram pointed weight from a height of about 5 feet onto the lens. It also must pass the test of having a ¼” steel ball shot at the lens. The velocity varies which the product (glasses = 102 mph from a distance of 150′, goggles = 170 mph from a distance of 250′ and 205 mph from a distance of 300ft).

The bottom line is that the high impact standard (the Z87+) offers much better protection. If you are going to wear eye protection it may certainly be worth your while to get the added protection.

Backyard Safety

TGIF! If the weather’s nice I’m hoping to get a little yard work done this weekend. I just bought a house and there’s a whole vegetable garden and flower garden to plant.

The key to properly enjoying the backyard, however, is to make sure that you do it properly and, in this case, safely. Keep the following tips in mind (or print them out and post them inside the tool shed to remind you every time you go out to do some yard work) in order to make sure that your trip to the backyard doesn’t end up being a trip to the hospital.

  • Mowing the lawn
    • Make sure that the lawnmower is properly tuned up and in good working order.
    • Keep children and pets away while the lawnmower is in use.
    • Do a quick visual of the lawn and pick up anything (sticks, stones, tools, toys, etc…) that could get sucked into the lawnmower, shoot out the other end and damage the blade or worse, you!
    • Wear safety goggles or safety glasses as well as ear plugs or ear muffs
    • Make sure that the mower is turned off before you try to do any work on it or reach under it for any reason whatsoever
    • Only add gas to a mower that is turned off and has cooled down
  • Other Tools
    • Make sure that you know how to use the tool. Read all the instructions, especially the safety cautions listed with the tool.
    • Make sure that you power tools are equipped with the proper safety features (i.e. an anti-kickback chain on a chainsaw)
    • Make sure that all the tools are properly sharpened. You are far more likely to get hurt from a dull tool than one that is properly maintained
    • Always put them away where children can’t get to them after you have finished with them
  • Pesticides, fertilizers and chemicals
    • Read all the labels and know the health hazards associated with the products that you use on your lawn or garden
    • Read the MSDS sheets to make sure that you are wearing the proper protection equipment
    • Keep all these products locked up and away from children
    • Do not mix products unless you know that it is safe to do so. Just because product A is good for you flowers and product B is good as well does not mean that A + B is twice as good. It might instead be extremely dangerous.

Have fun in your yard this weekend and take care to do so safely. See you back here on Monday!

The Safety Consultant you probably haven’t consulted

If I told you that you could improve productivity, reduce injuries and minimize fatigue in the workplace would you be interested? If I told you that the person who could do this is probably not someone you would think of in this way, would you be surprised?

This is someone that most employers never think of as a consultant but it could pay great dividends to reassess that presuppositions. I’m talking about a lighting specialist.

While most of us have heard of SAD (seasonal Affective Disorder) and pay a fair amount of time making sure that our home are properly lit, we often fail to transfer that knowledge to the workplace.

Whether we are talking about office workers sitting at a computer or workers out on the assembly line, making sure that the lighting is right can make a huge difference.

  • One of the main complaints from employees working in front of a computer all day is that they get headaches and/or eyestrain by the end of the day.
  • Proper lighting on the factory floor can help workers avoid accidents when the hazards, trips and falls become easier to see.
  • Numerous studies have proven that the type of lighting can have a measurable effect on the mood and the amount of fatigue that workers experience.
  • Lighting that has the full spectrum of color (lighting that most closely reflects outdoor lighting) has been shown to make a difference in the way that workers feel by the end of the day.

It obviously goes way beyond the scope of this post to try to solve all the lighting issues that need to be addressed in the workplace. Employers will, however, find that hiring a professional lighting consultant is an investment that is well worth it.

Especially if you haven’t addressed the issue of lighting in the past 3-5 years or so, you will probably find an additional benefit in the cost savings. Lighting options have changed dramatically in the past few years with lighting that is not only better and closer to full spectrum lighting but also incredibly cost effective to use, often costing only pennies a day. Because most of the new advances in lighting do not burn hot, the bulbs will outlast traditional bulbs by as much as 100 to 1 so that the replacement cost of bulbs along with the reduced energy consumption means that the consultation cost is very quickly offset by the savings involved.

I am not a lighting specialist but I do have a cousin who is (see ). I worked with him for a day last summer retrofitting a medical office in Southern California. At the end of the day, having installed several different options and demos for the employer to look at and evaluate, I came away amazed at the difference that good lighting can make. Looking at the numbers, in terms of cost savings involved, I was further impressed.

Do yourself a favor and find a local lighting consultant; you’ll be glad you did.

OSHA Harwood Grant Training Material

Free training material on a variety of topics are available online through the Susan Harwood Training Grant section of the OSHA website.

This from the website:

OSHA provides training and education programs for workers and employers on the recognition, avoidance, abatement, and prevention of safety and health hazards in their workplaces through Susan Harwood Training Program grants. Grants are awarded to nonprofit organizations to support the conduct of these training and education programs.

Many Harwood grantees develop training materials and products that address workplace safety and health hazards as a part of their grant activities. In an effort to make these products available to a broader audience for training or self-development, OSHA is posting these training materials on the Harwood Web page where they may be accessed and downloaded at no charge. As additional training products become available, OSHA will post them on this site.

The products developed by grantees have been tailored to meet the needs of various training audiences (e.g., workers, employers, young workers, non-English speaking/limited English proficiency workers) and are available in a variety of formats such as training manuals, PowerPoints, pdf files, etc. Some products are also available in languages other than English such as Spanish, Vietnamese, and Mandarin.

Access the website and the training material here.

The Basics of Extension Ladder Safety

Last week we covered step ladders (see “Step Ladder Safety“), this week we are going to look at extension ladders.

The basic safety rules for extension ladders are as follows:

  1. It is imperative that you understand that an extension ladder must extend 3 feet above the top landing and be at the right angle (we will explain this in a minute). Use this information to make sure that you have the right size ladder.
  2. Extension ladders extends as follows:
    1. Two-section ladders extend up to a maximum of 50 feet
    2. Three-section ladders extend to a maximum of 66 feet
  3. The correct angle for an extension ladder should be ¼, meaning that for every 3-4 feet up, the ladder should be 1 foot out away from the base. This means, for example, that it the height is 40 feet, the bottom of the ladder should be 10 feet away from the base.
  4. As with step ladders, always do a visual check of the ladder before each use and every time it is out of your sight for any length of time (you don’t know who might have taken it or used it when you weren’t looking and whether or not they did any damage).
  5. Always make sure that the bottom as well as the top of the ladder is set on a firm foundation. Do not set the ladder on crates, boxes, tables, etc… The foundation should be solid and unmoving (Not the flatbed of a truck, for example).
  6. The sections of the extension ladder must overlap by at least 3 feet.
  7. Always use the 3-point contact method and face the ladder when climbing up or descending.
  8. Secure the top of the ladder whenever possible to make sure that it does not slide.
  9. Always keep the top of landing as well as the base of the ladder clear of obstructions and debris.
  10. Use hoists and pulleys to raise and lower equipment, don’t try to keep them up yourself.
  11. When climbing up a ladder higher than 10 feet, you must use fall protection (a self-retracting lifeline with a tether, for example).
  12. Always be conscious of power lines when setting up or taking down an extension ladder.
  13. Never stand on the top three rungs

Ergonomic Tip of the Week # 16

Exercises for the Upper Body. While seated, clasp your hands behind your head, interlacing the fingers at the neck. Press the back of the head into the hands, and push the elbows back as far as they will go. Hold for a count of 5, relax by lowering the arms and gently shaking out the arms, and repeat 5 times.