Safety requires the right equipment. However, knowing what constitutes “the right equipment” can be harder than it seems. It’s relatively easy to figure out when you need things like helmets and safety glasses. However, many workers ignore their feet. They don’t think about the right footwear for their particular job, which can hurt productivity and lead to serious safety concerns.
The right footwear should both protect a worker from the dangers in their work environment, and provide the necessary comfort needed to keep going strong throughout a shift. Comfort may seem like a small concern (at least compared to safety). But if you spend long hours on your feet, you’ll be thankful you picked something comfortable.
On the safety front, picking the right footwear involves looking at your work site. Your choice should offer protection from the hazards you’re likely to encounter.
Here are a few of the major factors to consider when choosing the right work footwear:
Like any article of clothing, footwear is meant to protect you from the elements.
Cold is a key example. If you work outdoors during the winter, or in a facility that requires low temperatures, you should wear shoes (or preferably boots) that insulate you against the cold. It can prevent frostbite and other related issues.
Similarly, take your footwear into account if you work in wet conditions. Again, this can include outdoor work, or facilities that involve high levels of moisture. Water-resistant footwear not only keeps your feet dry (keeping you comfortable), but protects against general health hazards. For instance, it keeps you from falling prey to mold or fungus.
Steel-toe Work Boots
As might seem obvious, the main purpose of most protective footwear is to shield your feet from potential injury. As such, the most common protective element is added reinforcement, turning the boots into the lower-extremity equivalent of a hard hat.
As the name suggests, steel-toe boots include extra protection toward the front. This prevents your toes from getting broken if a heavy object should fall on them. The additional capping is necessary for worksites that include items that could contribute to such accidents.
When working around situations where the chance of electrocution exists, wearing the right footwear represents more than just protection for your feet. It could potentially save your life.
These boots include specially–designed soles that limit the danger of electrocution. They are made of non-conductive material, meaning that the worker themselves can’t complete an electrical circuit. The foot protection, therefore, keeps the entire body from potential electrical shock.
Some specific jobs require highly-targeted footwear.
Explosives represent one example. Because of the danger that a spark might set off an explosion, this type of work often requires electrically conductive footwear (basically the opposite precaution as the boots designed to prevent electrocution). The non-conductive surface stops the build–up of static electricity, thus cutting down the chance of a random spark.
Chainsaws are another tool that often requires specialized footwear. Cut-resistant boots lower the chances of serious injuries from an accident with a saw. This protective equipment also comes in handy in worksites with other types of spinning blades.
Looking for a great job in a safe environment?
Safety should be a key commitment on any job site. Teaming with the right recruiting partner, like LaborMax, helps you find the kinds of companies that will keep you safe and allow you to develop your skills over time.