Modern work boots offer safety features that were not considered or technologically available decades ago, and now better protect against the most common injuries from falling or rolling objects to electrical hazards.
Your feet are comprised of 26 bones and 38 joints that need protection when working on job sites. Feet also have blood vessels, ligaments, muscles and nerves, which is why it hurts when you stub your toe or drop something on your foot. Your feet are a critical part of your body that you use every day and, in some cases, enable you to do your job effectively.
There are two major categories of work-related foot injuries. The first category includes foot injuries from punctures, crushing, sprains, and lacerations. They account for 10 percent of all reported disabling injuries. The second group of injuries includes those resulting from slips, trips, and falls. They account for 15 percent of all reported disabling injuries. Slips and falls do not always result in a foot injury but lack of attention to foot safety plays an important role in their occurrence.
Protective footwear worn in the workplace is designed to protect the foot from physical hazards such as falling objects, stepping on sharp objects, heat and cold, wet and slippery surfaces, or exposure to corrosive chemicals.
According to OSHA 29 CFR 1910.136(a), “employees shall wear protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, and where such employee’s feet are exposed to electrical hazards.”
Safety shoes and boots which meet the ANSI Z41-1991 Standard provide both impact and compression protection. Where necessary, safety shoes can be obtained that provide puncture protection. In some work situations, metatarsal protection should be provided, and in other special circumstances electrical conductive or insulating safety shoes would be appropriate.
A good outer sole can provide excellent resistance to heat, chemicals, oil, gas, chips, marking and slipping. When faced with extreme temperatures or unsafe, slippery surfaces, a sturdy outsole that offers gripping features can be a lifesaver.
In addition to offering protection in the workplace, consider flexible, cushioned insoles for comfort; dual-density memory foam for stabilization; and waterproof construction.
What To Consider When Buying Safety Shoes and Boots
Take three things into consideration when shopping for a new pair of safety boots:
- Instep-The instep should fit snug, but not tight. If the instep is too loose, you’ll experience excessive slipping in the heel. If it’s too tight, it could cause heel and toe pain. Consider various widths as an option for the perfect-fitting instep.
- Ball-The ball of your foot should rest on the ball of the boot. If it’s too short, the ball of your foot will sit too far forward and force the toes into the toe box, causing pain.
- Heel- You might experience slight slippage in the heel with a new pair of boots. However, as you break them in, the sole will flex and, with time, you’ll notice most of the slippage will disappear.
Neff Rental requires that its employees who work around and service heavy equipment must wear safety shoes or boots to protect their feet. Neff Rental also provides shop personnel and drivers with an allowance to periodically purchase and replace worn safety boots and shoes. We care about our employees’ safety.