February 16, 2024

The Importance of Proper Foot Protection: A Guide to Safety Footwear

The Importance of Proper Foot Protection: A Guide to Safety Footwear

The Directorate General Factory Advice Service & Labour Institutes (DGFASLI) says that about 4,000 [1] injuries, including foot injuries, happen yearly, causing people to miss days at work. That’s why wearing the right shoes to protect your feet is important, just like other industrial safety equipment you use at work. Let’s learn about workplace dangers that can hurt your feet and the types of safety shoes you can buy.

Different Types of Workplace Hazards Involving Foot Injuries 

Falling and Flying Objects 

Sometimes, workers work in a dynamic work environment. It involves big vehicles, heights, or heavy machines. Here, shielding the feet against falling and flying objects becomes imperative. 

Defense against punctures 

The ground of a construction site is full of sharp objects. Regular soft-soled shoes may not be able to provide substantial protection. This might lead to punctures and foot injuries. 

Cutting hazards

Industries into cutting or drilling operations involve machine parts with sharp turns or pointy edges, such as chainsaws and grinder cutters. Using them without protection gears might expose workers to significant foot and leg injuries. 

Electrical Hazards

When live electric wire comes in contact with the ground without earthing protection, the working personnel will feel the electric shock without non-conductive footwear. Such shoes are also important to save workers from static electricity. 

Slips, Trips, and Falls

More than 40% [2] of injuries at the workplace are due to slips, trips, and falls, out of which 16% of accidents involve falls on the ground level. It can happen due to poor lighting, trailing cables, uneven flooring, or cluttered walkways. Proper footwear with adequate traction to prevent foot and other injuries. 

Burn and Fire Hazards 

According to reports from OSHA, almost 200 [3] workplaces catch fire daily. Normal fire dangers, chemical spills, or hot, melted metals can cause these fires. Workers must wear strong, protective shoes in these kinds of workplaces to keep them safe.

Types of Safety Footwear 

Industrial Safety Shoes

These are anti-slip, steel-reinforced shoes to offer protection in extreme working conditions such as construction, logistics, electronics, automobile chemicals, etc. 

Work Boots

Work boots cover half calves to offer protection from electric shock, heat, fuel/oil spills, and sharp objects at the workplace. 

Steel Toe Shoes

The toe box of such shoes is made of heavy-duty steel to offer maximum protection against puncture, compression, and impact in all weather conditions. 

Electrical Safety Shoes

Electric safety shoes are made of non-conducting leather and non-metallic fiber toes with PU soles. They can resist high electric shocks of 11kv for up to one minute. 

Leather Safety Shoes

Usually made of carbon steel, these shoes offer protection from impacts and can resist heat up to 300°C for one minute. 

High Ankle Safety Shoes

These shoes come with durable protective material coupled with soft cushioning at the top to aid comfort and safety. 

Waterproof Safety Shoes

Workers working under water-logged conditions need shoes to protect their feet from harsh chemical liquids, shocks, and chemicals. 

Welding Shoes

These are breathable, anti-skid shoes with heat and burn-resistant features well suited for electric welding, leg welding, and blacksmithing spats.

End Thoughts

Choosing the right safety shoes requires identifying the hazard type and the ideal material that can offer the best protection. However, an expert consultation should not be an option to ensure maximum workplace safety. 

The safety of your workers is more important than anything else. Ensure it by adopting the right safety equipment and safety rules in industry. Visit our website to learn more