Are Work Boots Considered PPE

Are Work Boots Considered PPE? (Experts Opinion)

A normal workplace is riddled with dangers such as sharp items, caustic chemicals, and live electrical wires. Your primary concern should be safety, and by wearing the best work boots, you can protect your feet from discomfort and incapacitation.

However, are work boots considered personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Yes, safety work boots are considered PPE since they safeguard the wearer from workplace accidents and health threats.

The taxman acknowledges this and will allow you to deduct the work boots as part of your job gear.

Here’s why work boots are considered PPE.

What counts as personal protective equipment (PPE)?

Personal protective equipment (PPE) is defined by the FDA as “anything that protects you against injury, sickness, or infection.”

  • Goggles
  • Face shields
  • Gloves
  • Helmets
  • Respirators
  • Face masks
  • Certain boots qualify as PPE since they keep the user safe. (even if they resemble business casual work boots)

PPE is defined in law as “any equipment (including clothing that protects you from the elements) meant to be used by an individual at their place of employment to protect them against hazards to their safety or health.”

PPE is frequently used in health care settings such as clinics, labs, and hospitals. Personal protective equipment (PPE) creates a barrier between the user and infectious particles. It may shield you from bacterial or viral contamination.

PPE protects employees on construction sites against injuries and illnesses caused by chemical, electrical, physical, and mechanical risks.

Hats, vests, gloves, goggles, coveralls, safety work boots, and coveralls are all examples of PPE equipment used in the workplace.

The FDA assesses devices that qualify as personal protective equipment in the United States. Manufacturers must demonstrate to the authority that their products fulfill all performance standards.

Example of construction worker PPE

  • Helmet to protect the head from injury
  • Eye protection against particles, liquids, lasers, and flashes with goggles
  • Protect your ears from noisy machines with earmuffs
  • Wear a high-visibility vest to ensure that rogue vehicle drivers see you.
  • Hand protection gloves against sharp and hot objects, as well as electrical, chemical, and biological dangers
  • A harness lanyard to keep you safe when working at heights more than 6 ft
  • Chap pants are constructed with ballistic fibers to safeguard your legs against construction site risks.
  • Work boots safeguard your feet against hot, slick, and jagged surfaces, as well as chemical, electrical, and biological risks.

What is NOT considered a work boot for safety?

Numerous safety work footwear may not be considered PPE. A safety work boot is intended to safeguard the user from potential risks in the workplace.

If a boot does not conform to these requirements, it is not classified as a safety work boot.
Visit our article on the finest soft-toe work boots.

These are the greatest if you operate in an industry that does not require all of the characteristics of a safety toe.

Work boots that do not fulfill OSHA’s safety criteria

  • Any footwear that is not made particularly to ensure the health and safety of workers
  • Boots for sports
  • Footwear that is ornamental
  • Boots for cowboys
  • Any work boot that does not exceed the minimal ANSI standards
  • Boots that lack the necessary protection characteristics for the job
  • Boots without the anti-toe-collision steel-toe feature
  • Work boots that lack the strength necessary to withstand punctures from nails or sharp items
  • Chemicals and cement will burn into your feet if you wear these boots.
  • If the work boots lack sufficient grip

What characteristics must a work boot have in order to be labeled a safety boot?

A work boot is only considered a safety boot if it protects your feet from falling, rolling, or punctures caused by sharp items on the job.

Additionally, the foot protection boot provides protection against hot surfaces, slippery floors, uneven ground, and electrical dangers. Thus, a protective boot must include characteristics that safeguard your foot.

Employees who operate in factories that handle hot, caustic, or dangerous substances must wear special water/liquid-resistant footwear.
Electrical technicians and anybody anyone working in an electrically conductive area must wear insulating, non-conductive footwear.

Additionally, personnel who operate in areas where static electricity is present must wear conductive footwear.

OSHA and the FDA have developed a concise set of criteria for determining the safety of a work boot. Such footwear must conform to ASTM 2413-05 Safety Footwear Standards.

OSHA ASTM F2413 Standards for PPE Safety Work Boots:

  • Upper in leather
  • Toe cap with a special safety feature
  • Resistant to oil
  • Soles with non-skid properties
  • Impact resistance rated at 75
  • Rating for Compression Resistance 75

ANSI requirements for safety work boots include:

Toe guards: A protective barrier made of hard plastic, aluminum, or steel that covers the toes.

Metatarsal guards: A protective element made of aluminum, steel, or fiber lessens the compressive impact on the instep of the foot.

Leggings, ankle, and calf protection: Safety boots include high shafts that shield the lower leg from welding sparks, corrosion, and scrapes. Safety snaps enable you to easily remove the leg in the event of an emergency.

Puncture-resistant soles: Safety boots include robust insoles. Metallic or hard plastic midsoles protect the foot from punctures. The outside soles then include increased traction to help avoid slips and falls.

Waterproof: If you operate in a damp area, you’ll want to wear liquid-resistant boots to avoid corrosion.

Additional features of PPE-Standard Workboots include the following:

  • Heat resistance safeguards you against hot surfaces.
  • Special-purpose boots, such as those that protect you against static electrical build-up.
  • Inner soles made of nylon, wool, or silk can generate static electricity and are thus not recommended for conductive footwear.
  • Electrical station employees should never wear conductive work boots.
  • Foundry work boots protect your feet from the tremendous heat generated by molten metal.

Who is responsible for providing PPE? (Employer/Employee)

Employers and workers both have a critical role in ensuring that everyone has proper protective equipment.

The Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) mandates all employers in the United States to safeguard employees from job injuries.

Numerous organizations are in place at the state level to implement these health and safety regulations.

Thus, according to OSHA’s rule, it is the employer’s obligation to ensure that each employee is equipped with the proper PPE in accordance with applicable state and federal regulations.

Who is responsible for the cost of PPE?

Employers and workers both have clear requirements about what they must do to ensure everyone’s safety.

Employers, for example, must instruct their employees on the need of wearing the proper safety gear.

Employees, on the other hand, must always wear PPE. A worker must clean, maintain, and understand how to utilize PPE. (learn how to properly clean and maintain your work boots for longer life)

In 2008, OSHA enacted a regulation requiring all employers to cover the cost of personal protective equipment or PPE. The standard clarified who was responsible for paying for PPE equipment.
Even if an individual possesses PPE, the employer is required to furnish one in accordance with OSHA rules.

Employers must pay for the following PPE equipment:

  • Steel-toed work boots with rubber soles
  • PPE for welding
  • Protective hearing equipment
  • Helmet
  • equipment for fighting fires
  • non-prescription eye protection goggles

Can you deduct work boots as a business cost if you are self-employed?

Clothing worn on a daily basis cannot be considered a business cost. However, your safety work boots and other personal protective equipment (PPE) all count as part of the expense that enables the activity to be performed.

The IRS permits self-employed company owners in the United States of America to deduct work boots as a tax-deductible expense.

Self-employed individuals may deduct the cost of workboots as business expenditure. However, you must demonstrate that the pair of boots was necessary for performing your job.

Then, to avoid any doubts, you must demonstrate your occupation to the taxman. The IRS would never allow football players or ice cream vendors to claim tax deductions for steel-toe boots.

Is it required by OSHA to wear work boots?

Footwear is equally as critical as protective coveralls, safety glasses, or gloves, according to OSHA. As an example, certain job conditions require the usage of potentially dangerous substances, energy, or machines.

A workstation may have a plethora of tools and control systems, necessitating frequent movement. When walking on slick floors, you run the danger of stumbling and harming yourself.

All employees deserve safety, which is why OSHA regulates the quality of footwear that qualifies as personal protective equipment. Additionally, the standard authority considers work boots to be part of PPE.

Contractors may require that all workers wear boots with safety toes, oil resistance, leather shafts, non-skid soles, and impact or compression resistance.

However, the federal government does not oblige employers to cover the cost of non-specialty footwear. Employers are free to determine which workplaces require PPE.

Who requires work boots?

If you operate in an area where significant hazards exist, you should invest in protective gear. Safety boots protect you from electric shock, heat, and compression of the foot.

Among those who should wear work boots are the following:

Security officers

Police officers require protective boots regardless of whether they are pursuing a criminal on a damp pathway or monitoring an area with several risks.


Workers on construction sites labor in hazardous conditions with sharp and falling items. A steel toe is required in these situations.

Delivery agents

When you’re always carrying large packages, you never know when one will fall and crush your toe. Safety work boots safeguard you from all of these dangers.

Other Jobs That Require Safety Work Boots include the following:

Examples Of Six Different Types Of Work Boots (And What They Can Protect You From)

1. Toe-protection

A safety toe protects your feet and toes from being crushed by falling or rolling items. The Thorogood Men’s American heritage Moc Toe is crafted from full-grain tobacco or tanned leather and features a shock-absorbing footbed.

Consider these ten+ Thorogood work boot reviews we conducted. We’re certain you’ll enjoy some of the models provided.

2. Ankle-high boot

Sprains and chronic ankle instability are prevented with ankle support footwear. The Caterpillar Diagnostic steel toe ankle-high boots provide optimal ankle support.

It also has Thinsulate Technology, an EVA foam insert, and gel technology.

3. Work boots with insulation

If your feet continue to freeze while working in the frigid winter months, try investing in insulated work boots. The Timberland Pro Boondock has an 8-inch shaft, a 2-inch heel, and a plush platform.

Additionally, the composite toe boot is waterproof.

4. Electric danger protection

Avoid becoming one of the electrocuted – invest in a boat equipped with electrical hazard protection, such as the Irish Setter 83605 work boot!

The 6-inch lace-up work boots include a thick rubber-Eva outsole and full-grain leather to keep you warm and safe. Additionally, the boot has Tred traction and conforms to ASTM F2413-11 standards.

5. PVC boots

Ordinary footwear is ruined by concrete and causes skin irritation. However, with PVC boots, you can protect yourself from damp concrete burns.

Dunlop Protective PVS Footwear is a lightweight, waterproof option. Any liquids are repelled by the Bay-Loc energy absorption system.

6. Wellington boots

If you’re working in a damp, muddy environment, the last thing you want is for water to get into your boot.

Ariat’s Men’s Workhog Wellington boot is made entirely of full-grain leather and features an 11″ shaft. The rubber sole provides adequate grip and prevents water from seeping inside.

Last words on the work boots as PPE

Work boots are equally as important as gloves, a helmet, and goggles. PPE equipment keeps you out of harm’s way when it comes to accidents and workplace risks.

While OSHO maintains quality requirements, the tax authority provides discounts on work boots. Thus, you want PPE to work boots for your business not only to comply with the law but also to ensure your safety and avoid injury!

At the end of the day, even a minor injury caused by slamming your toe against something hard might cause you to miss days or weeks of work. That implies there will be no revenue generated. And we’re sure you’re not interested in any of it!

The safety capability of a work boot is determined by its characteristics and the type of work performed. Choose a pair of work boots that matches your job, your feet, and is also comfy!

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