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 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 why are they not wearing appropriate welding boots?
Learn more about this topic by downloading the "Welding Boot White Paper" from AWS. Simply scroll down the page until you hit the literature section - Download the Welding Boot White Paper