Do you work in construction? Perhaps a factory? Jobs that can cause foot-related injuries must require you to wear safety toe shoes in the workplace.
According to the National Safety Council (NSC), one-fourth of all foot-related injuries is because the worker was not wearing safety shoes. Protective safety footwear is essential for ensuring that your feet are protected and safe while on the job. Preventing injuries should be your primary concern, and foot protection is one way to do so.
Safety Shoes and Your Comfort
Safety shoes don’t have the same dull look anymore. They are made from different materials, designs and protect from potential injuries. Flexible and comfortable work boots are important too since you may wear them most days a week.
And that’s just one side of the story.
Safety shoes protect you from many hazards in the workplace, namely:
- Falling objects – If you work around machines or operating vehicles, perhaps you carry heavy materials, you may be in danger of injury from falling objects.
- Punctures – If you work with sharp objects, you could step on them, or it may puncture your feet. Shoes made with heavy-duty materials will protect your feet.
- Electrical hazards – ESD safety shoes protect your feet from electric shocks or static electricity. Non-conductive footwear consists of leather, rubber, or others that won’t conduct electricity.
- Slips and falls – The shoes’ soles prevent you from slipping on different surfaces. Employers also should install anti-slip floor tape and housekeeping measures to prevent workers from falling.
- Extreme heat and cold – safety shoes help protect your feet from extreme temperatures.
- Red-hot metal can splash on feet, causing severe injuries.
- Dangerous objects that can roll onto feet.
- Fatigue protection – workers that stand on their feet all day, on hard surfaces like concrete, are subject to falls when their feet are sore and tired. The wrong shoe doesn’t just make the feet tired, but it can tire your muscles and back, making you not perform as well as you usually would. Good safety shoes can prevent fatigue.
When selecting the right safety shoe, the shoe must follow the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). These regulations ensure that your safety shoes have the features to protect your feet from injuries fully. Knowing what your job entails and the risks to your feet, protecting them is the best thing you can do.
The Occupational Safety and Health Administration have established safety standards and regulations for all companies to follow. All employees in industrial settings must wear safety shoes to protect their feet.
The Personal Protective Equipment section OSHA’s standards include footwear to prevent injuries. This section is relevant to employers in the following industries:
- Service fields
If employers don’t comply with these regulations, they can expect warnings, sanctions, and fines.
The Role of Safety Shoes
Safety boots have protective reinforcement in the front, protecting the wearer’s toes. They are durable shoes, and feet get protected from falling objects and different forms of compression. This reinforcement from steel and the shoe is known as steel-toed boots/shoes. The soleplate protects the sole of the feet from punctures that may occur below the feet.
As if that’s not enough
Your feet have 26 bones and muscles, tendons, blood vessels, and nerves. Injuries on your feet can be excruciating. If you injure your feet, you won’t walk correctly, affecting your work and life quality. Therefore, it is vital to wear safety shoes.
But wait, let me tell you something
What to consider before buying safety shoes:
- Not all shoes will stretch. If you purchase tight shoes, don’t expect them to loosen up. Check how should the boots fit beforehand.
- Some people’s feet are not the same size. Measure both feet before buying a pair and if one is bigger than the other, buy a right safety shoe size.
- Try on safety shoes in the afternoon as your feet tend to swell throughout the day and will be at their maximum size.
- If you stand or walk on hard floors a lot at work, choose a pair of safety shoes with shock-absorbing insoles for your comfort.
- What materials make up the safety shoes. Leather or rubber that won’t conduct an electrical current, the material that makes up the stiff toe such as steel, and the shoes’ soles’ flexibility. All will influence the type of shoe you purchase and the safety measures you need to protect your feet.
Why is it essential to wear safety shoes?
Safety shoes protect your feet from impact, burns, wounds, and cuts. Your safety shoes also prevent you from slipping and falling, which could result in severe issues like wounds to the head and broken bones.
Are steel toe shoes bad for your feet?
You’re at risk for damage to your toe muscles and getting uncomfortable corns. There’s also a possibility of getting pain in your feet and chafing.
It’s believed that steel toe safety shoes are causing these problems, but it’s boots that aren’t fitting correctly. You’ll have no issues if your steel toe safety shoes are the right size.
Who should wear safety shoes?
Workplaces have common hazards, including objects that are flying or falling. It’s hazardous, as workers have to carry heavy materials or work in environments that have several workers and vehicles operational at the same time.
By wearing steel toe safety shoes, you protect your feet and can avoid injuries such as crushing your feet.
Does OSHA require closed-toe shoes?
OSHA requires that workers wear shoes that cover their toes. If you decide to wear sandals instead, you need to wear socks to make it acceptable.
Safety shoes are critical to preventing injuries to your feet. These shoes protect you from many different accidents at the workplace that could occur. Whether it be falling objects, sharp ones that can pierce through the shoe, or electrical hazards, safety shoes must reduce workplace injuries.
Work boots must follow the guidelines that the Occupational Health and Safety has set for companies to follow. These guidelines include the type of shoe and the materials that make them. Whichever safety shoe you buy, your feet’s safety is of the utmost importance.