Insulating Footwear for Live Working

Insulating (dielectric) Footwear Classes

EN 50321-1:2018 is the new standard for insulating footwear for live working and was published earlier this year, it replaces EN 50321:1999 and is currently out for approval as an IEC standard which will make it a global standard, not just European.

The main changes in the 2018 revision are the introduction of new 4 classes (see below) for working up to 36 KV (the old standard only went up to Class 0 - 1 KV). Boots are now tested by filling with water instead of ball bearings to simulate water or perspiration potentiality wicking up the lining and creating a flash over. There is also now an electrical test after perforation of the sole by a nail, to ensure boots still give electrical protection after perforation. Even non-metallic perforation inserts can allow water to pass through them so will allow an electrical current to pass when the sole is punctured. The table below lists the classes and the test requirements:

Class Rating Maximum Working Voltage Withstand Test Voltage Leakage Current Test Voltage Maximum Leakage Current
Class 00 500V 5kV 2.5kV 3mA (5mA)
Class 0 1kV 10kV 5kV 5mA (8mA)
Class 1 7.5kV 20kV 10kV 10mA (16mA)
Class 2 17kV 30kV 20kV 18mA
Class 3 26.5kV 40kV 30kV 20mA
Class 4 36kV 50kV 40kV 24mA

(Overboot requirements are in brackets where they are different from knee high boots)

The new standard also includes requirements for DC current; all boots used for DC must be tested for DC according to the new standard and this is available as an option (contact us for details).

Class Rating DC Proof Voltage Average (kV)
Class 00 10
Class 0 20
Class 1 40
Class 2 50
Class 3 n/a
Class 4 n/a

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