Wearing steel-toed boots and other personal protective equipment (PPE) on the job may seem uncomfortable and cumbersome at times. But, when you weigh this minor inconvenience against the pain and suffering of a serious injury, it takes on a whole new meaning.
The U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics reports at least 60,000 foot injuries are responsible for keeping people out of work each year. Eighty percent of these accidents are caused by objects weighing 50 pounds or less. And many of them could have been prevented altogether, had workers been wearing the right steel-toed footwear.
Selecting the Right Footwear
It’s important to always abide by your company’s policy for safety footwear and other PPE. It’s not only your employer who’s cracking down on safety; in most cases, it’s a legal requirement set by the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA). To stay in compliance, your boss can send you home for not acting in a safe manner while at work, and this includes following all applicable PPE regulations.
When choosing steel-toed shoes or boots, follow these tips:
- Make sure they are made from strong, sturdy leather and have a large steel area that completely protects your toes.
- Look for footwear with a good arch. This will support your feet in times of stress or fatigue.
- Follow all instructions for measurement and fit to ensure you get the right size. And don’t forget to allow for the right socks, as well. Some socks are ergonomically made to provide the right comfort while wearing steel-toed boots. Never buy safety footwear without trying it on first.
- Make it a point to maintain your new footwear. This may include regular use of creams to keep the leather soft and supple.
You don’t have to sacrifice fashion for safety. Many footwear brands provide a wide selection of OSHA-approved footwear options that are actually easy on the eye. And, in the long run, they actually alleviate discomfort caused by prolonged standing or walking on hard surfaces.
Head to Toe Protection
PPE isn’t limited to your feet. Depending on your job, you may require other safety gear. Here are some examples, to protect your:
- Hard hats, helmets, bump caps or guards.
- : The right gloves for the job.
- Eyes and face. Safety glasses, eye shields, face shields, visors or goggles.
- Plugs, communication sets, noise meters or acoustic foam.
- Breathing apparatus. Escape or working sets.
- Chemical, high visibility or weather wear.
- Respirators, detectors or monitors.
- Full management equipment. Safety harnesses, fall arresters, or elbow, wrist or back supporters.
There’s nothing more important than staying safe – at work and at home. For additional resources to keep you informed and build your career, contact the safety and HR experts at PrideStaff Fresno today.