New European standards for safety footwear became effective from September 1 and SATRA has moved swiftly to implement them. The new BS EN ISO 20344 series of standards replaces the BS EN344 series which has now been withdrawn. BS EN ISO 20344 details the test methods for the new standards. BS EN ISO 20345 lays down the performance requirements for safety footwear. BS EN ISO 20346 lists requirements for protective footwear. BS EN ISO 20347 covers requirements for occupational footwear.

Formal ergonomic assessments are also included for the first time and testing for the presence of restricted substance chrome VI is now mandatory for all leather components. The new standards not only comprise the mandatory minimum requirements for CE marking footwear for the EU market but also the preferred test methods for many other countries. These replace the previous BS EN 344 series of standards.

SATRA believes it is the first Notified Body to make the complete switch to the new standards. However the technology centre will also continue to operate to the previous standards to complete ongoing testing. Switching from old to new standards could entail testing all properties that are new or different. As this could be costly for some footwear manufacturers and suppliers, SATRA is offering discounts to both existing clients and those wishing to change Notified Bodies to SATRA.

Effective for the rest of 2004, these deals involve up to 50% off all EN ISO 20344 safety footwear tests carried out during 2004: 33% off single sample tests carried out by SATRA and up to a maximum of 50% off multiple samples.

Executive Director Austin Simmons explains: ‘While many of the old EN344 safety footwear tests have been retained, the new series of EN ISO 20344 standards introduce new preconditioning requirements. This means that previous data cannot be relied upon and almost all materials will need re-testing to confirm compliance with the new standards. SATRA has therefore introduced these discounts to encourage and help manufacturers to change to the new standards without delay and to minimise any financial impact.’

Contact Richard Turner or Peter Doughty at SATRA to find out more about their test capabilities and discount deals.