If your welding boots have laces, they are not welding boots
Many large project sites and smaller workshops in Australia have made it mandatory that all workers wear lace-up, zip-sided boots to prevent rolled ankles and allow for quick removal. This may make sense for the majority of workers but not for welders.
The Welding Processes Code of Practice released by Safe Work Australia states that foot protection worn by welders should be “non-slip, heat and fire resistant” and that “welders should avoid using foot protection that has the potential to capture hot sparks and metal debris”, using ‘laces’ as an example of what NOT to wear.
Laces introduce a new hazard to the welder as molten metal, sparks and hot debris are collected in a focused capture point. The burn risk to the welder is significantly increased especially if the boots worn are not heat or fire resistant.
Simply put, if your welding boots have laces, they are not welding boots and they put you at risk.
Welders are exposed to unique risks that other workers may not encounter. These include heat, spatter, sparks and potentially, flames. Welders wear unique PPE like welding helmets, welding gloves and welding aprons so they should also wear appropriate welding boots.
The Welding Processes Code of Practice is available for download from the Safe Work Australia website.
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