Oliver's Two New Smelter Boots Provide Aluminium Smelting & Hot Metal Industry Safety

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Oliver Footwear has completed the development of two new Safety Boots specially designed for the international aluminium smelter industry, which are also expected to become the preferred choice for the foundry, other 'hot metal' heavy duty high heat industrial environments.

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The two new boots, designated Oliver Smelter Boots Style Number 25-298 and 25-299 have resulted from an eighteen month long product development, testing and evaluation process involving several Australian smelters before undergoing a final evaluation process conducted in conjunction with the Boyne Smelters Limited at Gladstone in Queensland.

Boyne Smelters, a member of the Rio Tinto Alcan Group is Australia's largest aluminium smelter producing more than half a million tonnes of aluminium a year, created an internal product evaluation team involving their safety, occupational health and hygiene personnel to review the preferred solutions they were seeking from their protective equipment.

Oliver Footwear spokesman Stuart Hull says "Boyne Smelters were keen to have access to a Smelter Boot which would have very high levels of personal comfort and safe protection for their smelter operations personnel.

"Also the boot needed to have a Type 1 non-magnetic safety protective toe cap due to the strong magnetic fields and the electrical conductivity which exist in the immediate smelter area as well as providing reduced fatigue levels.

"This required Oliver to develop both a lightweight protective non-magnetic aluminium toe cap with the traditional Oliver wide profile with an internal latex cushion liner which ensures toes are comfortable and not in contact with the cap.

"In conjunction with Carl Watt the Site Safety Specialist and Sharon Catford (OHN) at the Boyne Smelter Oliver developed a range of product specifications which could also address the comfort issues.

"In fact we were able to draw upon specific comfort features from the market leading Oliver All Terrain (AT) range which could be incorporated in both new Smelter Boots" Hull says.

Carl Watt confirms that "while previous smelter boots met our required safety standards they did not match operator expectations in terms of comfort.

"Oliver Footwear was very proactive in working with us to enhance the operator comfort and we are very pleased with the solutions which have emerged."

The comfort features include Oliver's unique COMFORTcushion which combines cellular urethane and PORON to protect both the heel and the ball of the foot and through its constant impact absorption helps reduce foot, leg and lower back fatigue.

The inclusion of a NANOLITE foot bed also provides greater comfort and well being as the raised surface section of the foot bed massages the foot by movement, promoting greater blood flow to also reduce fatigue.

The new Oliver Smelter Boots are produced with a high quality heat resistant and flame retardant black leather upper with a quick release Velcro closure.

All critical seams of the Boots incorporate three rows of heavy duty Kevlar stitching for increased strength with the outsole of the Boot resistant to 300 degrees C of surface contact.

Smelter Boots are also required to be dip tested in 960 degrees C of molten aluminium for three seconds.

The Boot was also required to have a number of specific features including a sole that is slip resistant with superior resistance to cuts, as well as resistant to mineral oils and acids and organic oils and fats.

The slight difference in Style Numbers also reflects that Oliver Style No 25-299 offers a Metatarsal Guard which affords further protection against impact on the leading edge of the foot.

Each boot also has a TECtuff toe guard which protects the front edge of the Boot, which also has a padded collar and a full lining internally.

The new Oliver Smelter Boots are produced in sizes from 5 to 15 with half size increments from 6½ to 10½.

Oliver Footwear's Stuart Hull says "news of Oliver's customer focussed development process and the features of the new Smelter Boots has quickly permeated the international smelter industry and Oliver has already sold the new Boots to the SOHAR Aluminium Smelter in Oman which commenced production in June 2008 with a targeted annual output of 350,000 tonnes of aluminium.

"As news about the new Oliver Smelter Boots spreads throughout this industry sector we are confident they will be the preferred safety footwear choice for the hot metal industries internationally" Stuart Hull says.

For more information contact Oliver Footwear by emailing [email protected] or see the website www.oliver.com.au