With a variety of jobs comes different demands and standards for safety footwear. Safety footwear is designed to protect feet against a wide variety of injuries: impact, compression, and puncture are the most common. So choosing footwear according to the hazard to which you are most likely to be exposed is important. But the options can be overwhelming. Luckily following Canada’s specific standards established by the Canadian Standards Association (CSA) Standard Z195-14 (R2019) “protective footwear” will ensure safety standards are being met and workers are protected.
Have you ever wondered what those symbols on your safety boots or shoes mean? The CSA sets out specific safety criteria for all safety footwear and apparel purchased in Canada. These symbols (or markings) will help you determine which footwear is appropriate for the job required. For your safety and the safety of others, we encourage you to review these symbols to make sure you are selecting the right shoe for you or your employees.
Clarifying what “Green Patch” means. The first symbol/mark is the Green Triangle, commonly referred to as “Green Patch”. It’s the most common one looked for and required by a wide range of industries. Although it’s commonly associated with construction work, it actually means CSA approved for toe and sole protection for a wide range of industrial environments including light industrial workplaces like warehouses, big-box retail, truck drivers and couriers, as well as heavier industries like manufacturing. Another misconception is that Green Triangle means “steel toe,” which is not the case. Safety shoes come in a wide range of toe protection including composite (or metal-free), aluminum and steel. The green triangle symbol simply means that the footwear is CSA approved to protect the toe and sole of the worker’s foot.
Here is a breakdown of what each label means from the Canadian Centre for Occupational Health and Safety (CCOHS):
|Selection of Safety Footwear|
|Green triangle indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 1 protective toe cap.||For 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 toe cap.||For light industrial work environments requiring puncture protection as well as toe protection.|
|Blue rectangle indicates a Grade 1 protective toe cap with no puncture-resistant sole.||For industrial work environments not requiring puncture protection.|
|Grey rectangle indicates a Grade 2 protective toe cap 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 electrical conductors can occur. Warning: Electrical shock resistance deteriorates with wear and in a wet environment.|
|Yellow rectangle with black SD letters indicates 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.|
|Yellow rectangle indicates sole puncture protection with a Grade 2 protective to ecap. (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.|
For more information about CSA’s footwear safety symbols, please visit CCOHS.
At Mister Safety Shoes, we are committed to helping workers get the best fitting, most comfortable safety shoes and work boots, so they remain productive and protected. We provide an end-to-end safety footwear management program for all sizes of businesses in Ontario and Alberta. Please contact our business solutions team if you are looking for a safety footwear program for your company.