The European standard EN 342 specifies the requirements and test methods for protective clothing against cold. Clothing certified according to EN 342 protects the wearer against temperatures of -5 °C and below. The EN 14058 standard (protective clothing against cold environments) protects the wearer comparatively only up to a temperature of -5 °C. The EN 342 standard therefore represents an increase in protection against cold compared to EN 14058 and is therefore more suitable for work in extreme temperatures, such as in cold stores.
The individual garments are divided into specific protection classes, with 3 always corresponding to the highest protection level.
The first number of the EN 342 standard provides information about air permeability in class 1-3, the second number about resistance to water penetration in class 1-2. The test procedure tests both breathability and thermal insulation, for which quilted and lined textiles are primarily responsible.
For even better protection and to avoid local cooling of individual parts of the body, make sure that your head, hands and feet are sufficiently protected (protection for these parts of the body is not covered by the EN 342 standard).
EN ISO 20345
The EN ISO 20345 standard specifies both basic and additional requirements for safety footwear for professional use. EN ISO 20345 footwear is intended to protect the wearer against impact, entrapment, falling or rolling objects, stepping into sharp or pointed objects, heat or cold and against hot substances.
Examples of aspects covered in the standard are the treatment of mechanical risks, slip resistance, thermal risks and ergonomic features. Supplementary standards related to individual activities deal with risks, for example, in relation to electrically insulating footwear, footwear for protection against chemicals and others.
Basic requirements described in EN ISO 20345 include:
- Height of the upper part of the shoe
- Heel area for boots
- Minimum length, pressure or impact resistance of the toe cap
- Water vapour permeability and water vapour number of the outer material
- Outsole thickness and abrasion resistance of the outsole
Safety shoes are divided into different protection classes depending on the requirements fulfilled. Safety shoes belonging to protection class SB fulfil the minimum requirements according to EN ISO 20345. Safety shoes with further additional requirements are divided into protection classes S1 to S5 depending on their properties.