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Safety boots - Life ?

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:23 pm
by tonycro
Hi Guys,

During a recent meeting my boss did a quick check to make that all the office bods had safety shoes for ambling round the factory, and actually they all did - but one chap indicated that safety shoes/boots have a life and he quoted 6mths!

I've never heard of any 'boot life' before, I'd of gone for reasonable wear and tear as a guide but I'd welcome any other comments

Cheers
Tony

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:39 pm
by Stew 1000
Tony,

Here at the Metro we get a new pair each year if we need them or not - costly i know but thats how they do it. I guess if your a frequent wearer then you might wear them out in a year, a lot less if your heavy on your feet.

At my old place, i was an office bod and i had mine for years, a i did not wear them that often - so in my opinion it depends on the wearer. But i dont see anything that sipulates every 6 months ?

Its like any piece of PPE, keep them maintained and replace if worn out. A duty the wearer has. And resonable replacements FOC, company duty.

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 2:44 pm
by Gladiator
It is likely the only person who will say 6 months is the manufacturer. What about your statutory rights and overall right to a warranty; as long as the shoes/boots are being used for the purpose they have been designed for.

If you think of something like a crash helmet they will go on for years, once dropped however or bumped in an accident it should be destroyed and thrown away (please if you do take this action please ensure head is removed first)

Back to the boots question, is there anything that states once worn for 6 months or damaged they should be replaced. Like Stew I consider annually to be more than sufficient.

G

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 3:07 pm
by Ian Rienewerf
Some safety boots come with a manufacturers (or ARCO) warranty.
This guarentees that the boots will be replaced if they fall apart under normal use in the first - say 6 months.

They will of course be OK after that - I have a pair of Doc Martin cappers I've had for 15-20year.
Ask the individual if you can have his 3 year old car when he chucks it away after the manufacturer's warranty runs out!

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:48 pm
by Phil
In the good old days of BR we got two pairs of boots a year whether we needed them or not. Everyone in my family wore them. That issue was cut to a pair a year when privatisation came in and now has been cut to replacement when they fall off your feet.

Incidentally isn't it the responsibility of the employer to maintain PPE?

I am wondering what response I will get from my boss when I tell him he has a duty to polish my boots? ;)

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:53 pm
by ohreally
Phil wrote:Incidentally isn't it the responsibility of the employer to maintain PPE?
Does that responsibility extend to providing laces? (serious question btw).

Posted: Tue Jul 03, 2007 10:59 pm
by Phil
The Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992
Maintenance and replacement of personal protective equipment
7.—(1) Every employer shall ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to his employees is maintained (including replaced or cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
I would say that boots without laces aren't in efficient working order. :?

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 12:10 am
by Stevie Johnno
We supply on demand as required on a "new for old" basis.
Obviously the Guys at the "Sharp end" of the Operation will need new PPE sooner than some Office Bod who might go on the Shop Floor twice a year to carry out stock taking.
As far as I can recollect the 6 month thing came about because certain Manufacturers offered free Insurance against Foot injuries for the 1st 6 months of the Footwear's life (upon registration/validation etc)

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 8:55 am
by tonycro
thanks chaps, much appriciated :-)

Style, quality, price.

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:00 am
by acko 338
This length of use is really a matter of practical examination and common sense.

I was in industry for thirty years on refineries, chemical works, power stations, gassing stations, research buildings, distilleries, breweries, food factories etc.

If you could contaminate your next site by use of your boots as a visiting contractor, you may find yourself changing boots every day !

If you are somewhere that you use your boots constantly in a dirty environment, the wear and tear will obviously be more.

The lowest end of the safety boot market at under £10 will not be a long lasting product by nature of its' make up.

The proprietry Dr. Marten's brand and many others of equal quality are built to a more rigorous standard, often providing full protection against chemical, water and oil ingress to soles and inners - obviously more expensive.

All of these factors need to be assessed when purchasing or specifying for PPE in your workplace. Fit for purpose boots will last longer and be more suited to the type of work being done - then look at life span.

Posted: Wed Jul 04, 2007 9:20 pm
by ohreally
Phil wrote:
Maintenance and replacement of personal protective equipment
7.—(1) Every employer shall ensure that any personal protective equipment provided to his employees is maintained (including replaced or cleaned as appropriate) in an efficient state, in efficient working order and in good repair.
I would say that boots without laces aren't in efficient working order. :?
I've had a bit of a bun fight recently with management when a footwear lace snapped and it was put to management they had a duty to maintain the ppe...their view was they supplied the ppe therefore it wasn't unreasonable for the guys to supply laces if they were required.
The fall out this caused is out of all proportion to the request.Line manager involved technical manager, involved dept manager who in turn involved HR and company safety manager - all this within 20 minutes of said lace sanpping....unbelievable. :)

Posted: Thu Jul 05, 2007 8:39 am
by acko 338
Just on simple practicality - keep some pairs of spare laces in a stores area - problem solved without argument - how much work time of the high management echelon was lost on their hourly rate to discuss this trivial issue ??

The first sentence spoken to a senior manager taking him or her away from their tasks would pay for the pair of laces needed!

Decent laces - £1 at the most???

This is where H&S goes into bonkers / conkers status !!

Probably took longer to find and write out the relevant regulation to spark the discussion !!

By the way, what's stopping the guys using unfit for purpose electrical cable to tie up their boots ? - seen that done on construction sites many times !

If you want to control use of PPE properly then the laces issue becomes a necessity to control the possibility of misuse of materials not suited for lacing purposes !