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The Anatomy of a Safety Shoe

Julie Copeland

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Each year there are approximately 1.2 million foot and ankle Selecting Safety Footwearinjuries in the U.S.  These injuries cost our businesses an average of five lost work days and a combined $600 million paid in workers compensation and lost production.

OSHA requires employers to supply hazard specific footwear for their employees.  Please consider the following tips when purchasing safety footwear.

  1. Two major categories of work boots, created for foot protection are heavy industrial and light industrial.  Determining what category your work environment falls into can help you choose the right protective shoes and boots;
  2.  In order to provide the most slip resistance, shoes should have some grooves in the sole to allow for liquid flow.  However, the amount of surface contact is also important and should be considered when making a shoe purchase;
  3. Safety shoes with a defined heel are best suited for people who will be climbing ladders often.  However, this type of shoe does not provide as much slip resistance;
  4. To protect against dangerous chemicals and extreme heat, the top of the safety shoe should have as few seams as possible and no vents;
  5. Safety footwear with electrostatic dissipating properties can be worn to prevent static electricity buildup.  These shoes must not be worn in work environments with risk of electrocution;
  6. Some safety shoes contain metal plates to prevent wounds caused by stepping on sharp objects;
  7. Nonconductive safety shoes are available to reduce the risk of electrocution in dry conditions.  But  keep in mind that regular inspection is necessary to ensure the sole is not worn through and there are not metal parts embedded in the sole;
  8. Safety shoes with tread grips are valuable in environments with rugged terrain.  But on a smooth floor with a slippery substance, there is often not enough traction to prevent slipping;
  9. It is important to try on safety shoes and boots with the type of sock that will be worn with them.  If you are wearing a sock that is thinner or thicker than your typical work sock you may not get the most accurate size;
  10. Provide proper training to your employees on how to wear their safety footwear properly and to avoid injuries.

Arbill offers more than just safety products, like the safety footwear mentioned above.  We also provide EH&S training programs and facility ID programs that are sure to help create the culture of safety in your organization that you are looking for.  Contact your Arbill representative or visit our website today for more information.  If you don’t want to miss out on relevant safety information, click here to subscribe to our Safety Blog. Have a safe weekend and come back on Monday.

Topics: Arbill, safety training, culture of safety, safe everyday, protective footwear, safety footwear, keep your employees safe, safety boots, safety shoes

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