By Jayden Mark
The ASTM F2413 standard is a classification for safety footwear. Work boots are tested and rated according to their performance. The ASTM regulations for safety shoes require that products meet minimum design, testing, and labeling criteria. ASTM F2413 replaces ANSI Z41 as the international standard for protective footwear.
The American Society for Testing and Manufacturing was formed by a group of scientists in 1898 to test breaks in rail tracks. Since then, the organization has become an international leader in testing and certifying a wide variety of manufactured products to meet certain standards.
The organization requires independent, third-party testing, according to prescribed specifications for a particular product. For work boots, and other types of PPE, ASTM certification is formulated to meet the US Occupational Safety and Health (OSHA) regulations for safety in the workplace.
The requirements for ASTM F2413 safety boots are in accordance with the OSHA reference standard 29 CFR 1910.136 – Foot Protection. This means that footwear rated as ASTM F2413 meet the stipulated safety requirements for workers in certain industries.
The labeling of ASTM 2413 boots provides information on what standards are met. The primary labeling certifies impact (I) and compression (C) resistance. This classification indicates that the toe cap protects your feet from falling objects (impact resistance) and other dangers, like rollers (compression resistance). In order to meet these requirements, the boots must withstand an impact force of up to 75 pounds and compression resistance for rolling object of up to 2,500 pounds.
Previous ASTM F2413 regulations only required impact resistance for the toe cap, which is made from metal or a composite material. More recent updates, now require that the bones at the top of the foot (metatarsal bones) are also protected. The boots need to have a metatarsal guard that partially covers the toe cap and extends over the top of the foot to protect the metatarsal bones from an impact of up to 75 pounds.
Other criteria will be added to the label if the boots meet additional requirements, like electrical hazard (EH), Conductive footwear (CD), or puncture resistance (PR). The label must also indicate the gender for which the boot was designed: male (M) or female (F).
Interpreting ASTM F2413 Labels
The first line of the label indicates that the boots meet minimum ASTM F2413 requirements. This is followed by the year that the regulation was introduced. For example, ASTM F2413-05 means that the boots meet the minimum standards set in 2005.
The second line indicates gender (M or F), and impact resistance (I) and/or compression resistance (C). The remaining 2 lines list specific requirements as follows:
Evolution of the ASTM F2413
Over the years, ASTM F2413 has been revised and updated. You’ll know which standard is being used by the number following F2413:
When a new standard is introduced, employers must comply within in a stipulated time period, typically one year. However, many boot manufacturers continue to sell boots made to earlier standards. While these boots may be redundant for employers who are required to adhere to OSHA regulations, they remain popular with outdoor enthusiasts, like hunters, and informal workers who are not subject to OSHA rules and want to buy a cheaper product.
Changes to ASTM 2413 Specifications
Originally, there were three options for impact resistance from 30 pounds to 75 pounds. The boots were labeled accordingly. In 2011, all safety boots with an ASTM F2413 label had to be rated for an impact resistance of 75 pounds. Rolling resistance also changed from three to a single rating of up to 2,500 pounds.
Other changes include the ohm rating for CD boots and the presentation of labelling on the product. ASTM F2413-18 also requires third-party testing facilities to issue a certification of conformance (COC), issued by the laboratory where the testing was conducted.
The testing facility has to issue a statement that the manufacturer has met ASTM F2413-18 specifications and that the product was tested in accordance with ASTM F2412-18 testing methods. They must also provide a list of which safety hazards have been tested.
ASTM F2412 vs ASTM F2413
The ASTM F2413 standard stipulates the specifications that a manufacturer has to meet in order to use ASTM F2413 labelling. This means that the boots need to meet the impact and/or compression requirements, as well as any other safety features that appear on the label, like electric hazard or static dissipation.
ASTM F2412 stipulates how products are tested by the laboratory. For a third-party tester to certify the product as being ASTM F2413 compliant, testing has to be conducted according to ASTM F2412 guidelines. These state how the product is tested and under what conditions. This can include factors like minimum and maximum weight, voltage, or temperatures for various testing criteria. When products are tested for waterproofing, like dielectric boots, the water level inside and outside the boot is specified within the ASTM F2412 regulations.
Laboratories certifying safety equipment are required to follow detailed testing methodology to ensure that tests are consistent for all manufacturers. This means that when you buy safety work boots with an ASTM F2413 label, you are guaranteed that they are accurately tested to meet all regulations required for a specific safety rating.
For workers, the ASTM F2413 safety rating and ASTM F2412 testing specifications offer enormous peace of mind. When you rely on PTFE to keep you safe, you want to know that every effort has been made to verify that your safety gear offers the very best protection and won’t fail when you need it. Your life could depend on it.