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 April 2005 Tech News

New ASTM International Standards Supersede ANSI Z41 Protective Footwear Standards

Two new ASTM International standards, F 2412, Test Methods for Foot Protection, and F 2413, Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective Footwear, have replaced the former ANSI Z41 standard, Standard for Personal Protection Protective Footwear, which has now been withdrawn. Both of the new ASTM standards are under the jurisdiction of ASTM Committee F13 on Pedestrian/Walkway Safety and Footwear.

The American National Standards Institute’s Z41 Committee on Personal Protection-Protective Footwear has merged into ASTM International’s Committee F13. This merger enabled Committee F13 to undertake the oversight and redrafting of ANSI Z41 performance requirements and test method standards for safety footwear.

The new ASTM standards contain minimal changes from the withdrawn ANSI Z41 1999 standard with regard to test methodology. The new standards F 2412 and F 2413 will permit the continued use of safety and performance standards previously provided in the ANSI document, which has been an important part of worker safety since 1967. The new standards continue the long-standing effort to help protect against toe, metatarsal and foot bottom injuries. The new ASTM protective footwear standards are enhanced with expanded information on upper class 50 and class 75 toe protection performance requirements.

The major performance characteristics that have changed from the old ANSI standard to the new ASTM standard are the removal of those for Type II Static Dissipative and Class 30 for impact and compression requirements. Therefore, the majority of existing industry inventory of product and product-information that is labeled or advertised as in compliance with the ANSI Z41 1999 standard should be compliant with the new ASTM standards. However, manufacturers are cautioned to review the new documents and the changes to ensure such compliance.

Since the ANSI Z41 1999 standard has been formally withdrawn, all new footwear, not including those already in inventory, found in compliance with the new protective footwear standards ASTM F 2412-05 and ASTM F 2413-05 may be labeled as such. References to the old ANSI Z41 1999 may be replaced with labeling indicating that the footwear is compliant with the new ASTM standards for new product. Generally, if footwear is in compliance with the new standards, it is an acceptable form of labeling under ASTM’s Logo Policy to indicate the item(s) “Complies with (or Conforms to) ASTM F 2412-05 and F 2413-05,” for example. For existing inventory marked as compliant with ANSI Z41 1999 during this transitional period, footwear manufacturers may need to educate customers on the differences between Z41 and F 2412/ F 2413; this will assist in customer understanding of the standard(s), old or new, with which the footwear is purported to comply, regardless of its marking.

Manufacturers are generally not prohibited from labeling a product with an outdated standard, should a request or situation require labeling that indicates compliance with the Z41 standard – as long as the standard is publicly available and it is recommended that the recipient of the product be informed that more technically current documentation is available (an example may be a request that, in its specifications, refers to a dated regulation citing the Z41 document).

ASTM standards are officially designated upon their approval and publication, and the year-date assigned to them reflects the approval date. As future technical changes are made to these standards, the year date will be updated to reflect that revisions have been made. Manufacturers should monitor F13.30 activities to keep current on future changes to the standards as they may advance to include new technologies for materials and safety.

Technical Information:
William Ells, Quabaug, North Brookfield, Mass.
Phone: 508/867-7731

ASTM staff: Dan Schultz
Phone: 610/832-9716

Upcoming Meeting: June 2-3,
ASTM International Headquarters,
West Conshohocken, Pa.

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