Tips for Buying Safety Footwear
Proper footwear is critical in construction, so here are some tips for buying safety footwear. Heavy dropped objects, sharp debris and implements strewn across the site and inclement weather all put workers without proper foot protection at undue risk.
Potential hazards that can be mitigated with safety footwear include:
- Slippery, slick surfaces
- Dropped objects
- Stepping on nails or other sharp objects
- Extreme cold (frostbite)
- Electrical work
What should I know when I buy footwear for work?
Good footwear should have the following qualities:
- The inner side of the shoe must be straight from the heel to the end of the big toe
- The shoe must grip the heel firmly
- The forepart must allow freedom of movement for the toes
- The shoe must have a fastening across the instep to prevent the foot from slipping when walking
- The shoe must have a low, wide‐based heel; flat shoes are recommended People buying footwear for work should take the following advice:
- Do not expect that footwear which is too tight will stretch with wear
- Have both feet measured when buying shoes. Feet normally differ in size
- Buy shoes to fit the bigger foot
- Buy shoes late in the afternoon when feet are likely to be swollen to their maximum size
- Ask a doctor’s advice if properly fitting shoes are not available
- Consider using shock‐absorbing insoles where the job requires walking or standing on hard floors
When selecting footwear, one should remember that tight socks or stockings can cramp the toes as much as poorly‐fitted shoes. Wrinkled socks, or socks that are too large or too small, can cause blisters. White woolen or cotton socks may be recommended since colored socks cause skin allergies in some people.
What should I know about the fit and care of safety footwear? Fit:
- Walk in new footwear to ensure it is comfortable.
- Boots should have ample toe room (toes should be about 12.5 mm from the front)
- Make allowances for extra socks or special arch supports when buying boots.
- Boots should fit snugly around the heel and ankle when laced.
- Lace up boots fully. High‐cut boots provide support against ankle injury Care:
- Use a protective coating to make footwear water‐resistant.
- Inspect footwear regularly for damage.
- Repair or replace worn or defective footwear.
- Electric shock resistance of footwear is greatly reduced by wet conditions and with wear
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