The steel toecap safety overshoe has been around for a long time. Its origins lie in the marriage between the venerable rubber galosh and a steel toecap similar to those used in many of today’s safety boots. However, the safety overshoe hadn’t evolved much before a slate of revisions entered the market recently.
Confined mostly to the “shoes for visitors” market, manufacturers of safety overshoes had been avoiding failure rather than attempting success. Some thought by improving their products they would attract the attention of “the big boys” in the safety footwear business. In fact, the early products could never have been perceived as a threat to safety boots.
That has changed now because of a number of developments. Safety overshoes in North America are incapable of attaining either an ANSI tag or a CSA label. This is due to the criteria which govern how these “badges of approval” are obtained.
A study of OSHA regulations indicates a fair degree of free will in making this determination that starts with a risk study and assessment. If such a study indicates only toe protection is required, there are a number of ‘cheaper-than-safety boot’ alternatives. Since OSHA does not “approve” items of PPE, many employers are now re-examining their safety policies to see if costly safety boots can be replaced by comparatively inexpensive safetytoe overshoes. In step with this trend, safety overshoes are now being evaluated for previously unnoticed attributes. A number of safety overshoe brands have been tested by the same bodies used by safety footwear manufacturers and results indicate full compliance with toe protection standards.
Qualities such as these, and a distinct improvement in appearance, have opened new markets for these versatile and cost-effective items of PPE. No longer confined to the unregulated “shoes for visitors” market, employers are switching to the less costly safetytoe overshoe. In Europe, these products have obtained CE Approval rating, certified by SATRA the most respected footwear testing body in the world.
From: “Point of View: How to”