As workers, we depend on our feet a lot. Ensuring that they are well protected should be a high priority for both employers and workers. Sure, there are plenty of basic and general personal protective equipment such as earplugs and safety glasses that cover a broad range of hazards, but footwear selection entails more than just general protection. Since there are plenty of different hazards for various occupations, the safety footwear chosen should give your feet the best chance of being protected from the particular risk.
For example, if you work in a factory with the risk of loose nails and sharp objects, then buying your boot according to ankle protection or waterproof uppers may not really be appropriate for the risk. Taking the extra time to know what you need could mean all the difference between a well-protected foot and an amputation just waiting to happen. Here’s how to choose safety boots according to the risk your job poses.
Like many employees, your job probably entails working with flammable substances, explosives or highly reactive components. Unlike electricians, people who work in such environments should look for shoes with as much electrical conductivity as possible. This is because electrically conductive shoes help prevent a massive buildup of static electricity on the worker. Without such conductive footwear, the static buildup on any part of your body could easily create a spark that could ignite one heck of an explosion. Workers in such environments should also avoid nylon, silk and wool socks that produce the most static.
Sharp Objects and Blades
Whether you are working with chainsaws or walking through a site with sharp objects like screws and nails, it is very important to look for a particular type of safety footwear designed for the job. Nails will definitely puncture through the soles of regular boots and severely injure your foot. Puncture resistant footwear is paramount in such an environment since the steel or composite plate found in the midsole will prevent anything from breaching your foot. However, spinning blades and chainsaws pose a danger of attacking from all sides. A steel plate alone will simply not do. In such a case, go for cut resistant chainsaw boots that create a protective barrier around the entire foot to protect against cuts.
Falling and Rolling Objects
Almost every job out there poses a risk of dropping something heavy on your feet or compressing them under very heavy loads. This is why safety toe caps are some of the most popular features found in almost each and every type of safety boot in the market. The caps are traditionally made of steel, but they are also available in a wide range of other materials. However, the risk of rolling objects crushing your feet cannot be lefts to safety toes alone. Some of the most protective footwear today incorporates additional protection along the metatarsal region to ensure that the rest of your foot is safe from compressing forces.
Working in very cold environments means dressing up to keep warm and snug, and your footwear is no exception. If you will be carrying out any activities in freezing temperatures, there is a risk of frostbite and permanent loss of tissue if you are not well protected. Insulated boots are a must so as to trap all the heat in the shoe and ensure that none of it escapes.
Nothing feels worse than working hard all day with water logged shoes splashing around. Of course, working outside means being exposed and bearing the elements as they come. If you are working in wet conditions where moisture will definitely be an issue, ensure that you get water resistant boots that can even be fully submerged in water without getting a single drop inside. If you neglect this element and expose your feet to dirty water and liquids on a regular basis, there’s no telling what infections and health issues you could be getting yourself in to. Water resistant safety boots not only help keep your feet dry and warm, but they also help protect your feet from rot, mold, fungus growth, and bad foot odors.
Whether you are pulling a second shift in a car garage or working hard for a promotion in the corporate corridors, there are a few things that can literally bring you down faster than you could say great job. This includes a combination of gravity and a surface that is more slippery that a water slide. While most surfaces are made slippery by water, oil slicks and other substances, others are just slick and smooth by nature. Whatever job you may be undertaking, ensure that your shoe offers as much traction as possible. Slip resistant shoes have been in use for years now by industries like healthcare, kitchens, industrial zones, and outdoor environments. Reduce the risk of falls and slip ups with slip resistant work boots.