#underground boots#mining safety clothing#miner safety clot

New Prize-winning Underground Boot Improves Miners Comfort and Safety

Mine operators cant afford to take anything for granted when it comes to the safety of day-to-day operations. This is why mining footwear, too, deserves...

|May 28|magazine6 min read

Mine operators can’t afford to take anything for granted when it comes to the safety of day-to-day operations. This is why mining footwear, too, deserves special attention. Blundstone is just around the corner from making available their new range of fit-for-purpose underground boots.

The Blundstone organisation consists of a highly integrated group of companies owned and operated by a family whose history can be traced back to the 1840’s. Despite growing to become one of the world’s most recognisable boot brands, the company remains Tasmanian. While brilliant, this did make partnering up with the highly regarded Australian mining business Centennial Coal, a domestic and export market supplier, an essentially obvious choice.

The brilliant and not so obvious element here was the idea to partner up with an industry leader, people actually in the mines, in order to execute the most helpful and relevant data and statistics mining. In order to develop this seemingly unique boot, Blundstone teamed up with the management at the Centennial coal mine to perform extensive wear trials. Blundstone has already secured top honours at the NSW Mineral’s Council Health and Safety Innovation Awards.

Blundstone Group Range Development Manager Michelle Vince carried out a pivotal role on the team behind the boot currently referred to as simply “style number 980”. Upon successfully conducting the research that enabled Blundstone to develop style number 980, Vince commended Centennial for their openness to participating in the development process: “The really great part about this project was Centennial being so approachable,” she said. “We had found it almost impossible to get past the front gates other mines prior to this.”

“When we met with Centennial they said ‘look, we use your gumboots, they do need improvement, but what we really need is this leather boot’. They took us underground to let us have a look at the environment, which was really important because it gave us the opportunity to speak to the guys actually using the footwear, and they could show us their issues on the spot. As [Centennial’s procurement] said to me, how do you think you can design a boot for us if you haven’t been underground?”

Blundstone’s new boots provide for a vastly improved experience for underground workers, featuring laceless and zipless design, incorporating the new BOA system for quick closure and simple release, which Blundstone says gives a custom fit at the turn of a dial. The soles are a brand new design of Poron XRD, which is designed for maximum impact absorption, and are also puncture resistant for added protection. And there’s a new Metguard, providing a metatarsal guard that protects the wearer from dropped objects on the foot.