The New European Standard EN 5032-1:2018

11 August 2020


EN 50321-1:2018 was harmonised and published earlier this year and replaces EN 50321:1999. This standard is currently out for approval as an IEC standard which will make it a global standard not just European.


The standard has been split into 3 parts.

Part 1 is for live working on complete insulated boots up to 36 KV working voltages.

Part 2 which is currently being drafted is for insulated soles for step voltages. And refers mainly to Leather Footwear which must be kept dry and is not intended for “Live working” and will not carry the Live working double it CE marking.

Part 3 is for live working at voltages above 50 KV where the footwear must be conductive. The drafting of this standard has not started .

The main changes to part one are the introduction of 4 classes ( see below) for working up to 36 KV whilst the old standard only had working up to 1000 Volts ( 1 KV). Boots are now tested by filling with water this is because steel balls always gave lower results and did not take into account water or perspiration wicking up the lining creating a flash over. There is now an electrical test after perforation of the sole by a nail, to ensure boots still give electrical protection after perforation of the sole.  Just because a perforation insert is non-metallic it does not imply it is electrically insulating most will allow water to pass through them so will allow an electrical current to pass when the sole is punctured. In the table below is listed the classes and the test requirements;



Maximum AC Working Voltage

Proof  test Voltage

Proof test Leakage current

Withstand Test Voltage AC


500 V

2.5 KV

3 m A

5 KV


1 KV

5 KV

5 m A        (8 m A)

10 KV


7.5 KV

10 KV

10 mA      (16 mA)

20 KV


17.5 KV

20 KV

18 m A     (18 mA)

30 KV


26.5 KV

30 KV

20 m A

40 KV


36 KV

40 KV

24 m A

50 KV


In the table we have included the requirements for Knee boots the Overboot requirements are in brackets where they are different to boots.The leakage current requirements for Overboots  is slightly higher due to the larger surface area.

The new standard also includes requirements for DC. RESPIREX are one of the very few who can test for DC please contact Respirex for more information. All boots used for DC must be tested for DC according to the new standard.

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