From developed countries to developing ones, all realize the importance of safety standards and regulations for industrial workers. To secure the safety of the workers, industries and organizations are making it a mandatory rule to wear safety shoes.
The importance of wearing safety shoes is enormous as it maximizes the protection of the feet when you’re at work. Safety shoes come with protective steel toes that protect your feet from sharp tools, falling objects, and other work hazards.
In addition, these shoes provide the proper protection to your ankle and necessary support to the feet. Some safety shoes also feature slip and electric shock resistance. According to your working environment, you’ll find different types of safety shoes. Below in this article, I’ll show you how to choose the right shoe for your work.
Overview of Safety Shoes
Industrial workers have to deal with many workplace hazards such as heavy machinery, sharp tools, chemicals, etc. Therefore, they always remain at a certain risk, anything could happen at any time.
Construction and industrial sectors are the most dangerous sectors for the workers in terms of safety, where safety shoes are a necessary option.
While working, workers are always at risk of heavy tools falling, electric wire, and wet floors in their workplace. A pair of safety shoes with the right sole can protect them from injuries that might occur from workplace hazards.
In addition, safety shoes become an essential safety gear for each employee who works in a risky work environment to ensure they don’t feel threatened. It’s needless to say the importance of wearing safety shoes is huge if you’re working in the industrial sector.
Importance Of Wearing Safety Shoes
There are several types of workplaces where foot protection is necessary to protect your feet from hot, heavy, and sharp objects. (For example, you won’t be eligible for asphalt work if you don’t get asphalt work boots.) Because, without ensuring the proper safety of your feet, you can’t work in such working environments.
1. Hazardous Work Environment
To ensure the safety of your feet in the hazardous work environment you must wear good quality safety shoes. Most safety shoes come with full-grain leather on the upper surface and steel toes inside the shoes to give your feet sturdy and layered protection.
Safety shoes work as a barrier against heat, oils, chemicals, harmful acids, shocks, etc. You might be thinking they’re pretty heavy as they come with a lot of incredible features. But in reality, safety shoes are very lightweight so that you can wear them for a long period without any strain on your feet.
2. Proper Feet Support
Moreover, the soles of the safety shoes are well padded so that the wearer gets adequate support and maximum comfort. It helps to decrease the worker’s fatigue level. Another great thing about safety shoes is they’re inlined with moisture retention materials. (As a result, workers’ feet remain dry and warm in all environments.)
Why You Must Wear Safety Shoes?
When you work in a hazardous environment you need to wear safety shoes to protect your feet. Below I’ll explain some- of the important facts that’ll clarify why you should wear safety shoes.
Construction sites and metal workshops are scrap yards of sharp tools and pointy things such as glass, screws, and nails, etc. While working in such environments, getting injured is a common thing if you don’t wear safety shoes and gear. By wearing the right pair of safety shoes, you can minimize the risk of getting injured.
2. Electric Shock And Burns Hazards
Fire accidents can occur anytime anywhere. For example, if you work in chemical factories, gas reserves, cement industries, metal industries, or any extreme temperature workplace may cause 1st to 3rd° burns.
Safety shoes made with durable and fire-resistant material can protect your feet from such types of accidents. These types of shoes are specially designed to protect your feet from chemical drops and molten metal.
Moreover, the non-conductive material of safety shoes such as leather and rubber also saves the workers from any kind of electric shock.
3. Accidental Falls And Slips
Accidental falls and slips can happen at any time in any working environment. Especially in the housekeeping business, plumbing business, etc. jobs people involved have a higher risk of falling and slipping due to the nature of the job.
For example, metal roofs are very slippery. If you want to safely work on that you need to wear metal roofing boots along with good traction features. You’ll find a lot of specialized safety shoes that come with groves to increase the traction and grip.
4. Cut Injuries
In some workplaces, workers need to deal with cutting tools extensively. These tools are very sharp and risky for feet. For example, workers who constantly get closer to chainsaws, metal cutters, and other sharp objects, must wear safety shoes.
Otherwise, if the foot gets in contact with the chainsaw it will end up with a disaster. A safety boot that comes with a cut-resistance feature is a must need equipment for these types of work.
5. Working In Cold Temperatures
Working in freezing temperatures can cause hypothermia and frostbite. With a pair of insulated safety shoes, workers can protect themselves from such circumstances. (As these shoes keep their feet warm and comfortable in extreme cold.)
How To Choose The Right Safety Shoes
Choosing the right safety shoe is a little tricky but if you consider some important facts, you can easily choose the right safety shoes for you.
Before purchasing your safety shoes it’s crucial to check the certifications of the shoes first. You need to check the standard EN certification to ensure quality. (Such as EN ISO 20344:2004 or ISO 20344:2011).
EN ISO 20344:2004 means the shoe is 200 joules/(20kg weight dropped 1020mm on the toes) impact resistant. And a 15KN comparison test. (which is equal to 1.5 tonnes rating on the toe area)
2. Properties Of Safety Shoes
For different types of work, workers need different types of safety shoes. It’s important to select your safety shoes according to your work category. Look for the below specification and qualities to select the right safety shoes.
- AN-Ankle Protection
- CRE-Chemical Resistance
- CR-Cut Resistance
- I-Electrically Insulated
- P-penetration Resistance
- HI-Heat Insulated
- HRO-Outsole Resistance to hot contact
3. Select The Sole Type You Need
- Pu Sole: Lightweight, comfortable, and deliver superb safety features
- Pu Double Density: Better safety and comfort
- Pu Single Density: Mediocre Safety and comfort
- Pvc Sole: Excellent safety features, less comfort, and a little bit of heavy
- Rubber Sole: High-temperature Operations
Choose The Right Toe Cap For Your Safety Shoes
200 J is the average load that a safety shoe should bear. According to that, there are three types of toe caps:
Steel: Steel toe caps are made of high-quality carbon steel that secure your feet against any falling and crushing beneath moving objects.
Composite: Composite toe caps are non-metallic or thermoplastic polymeric toe caps to give you safety against falling and crushing beneath moving objects.
Fiber Toe Caps: Fibre toe caps are non-metallic and made of lightweight fiber. These types of toe caps have no resistance against impact.
Choose Your Safety Shoe From Variety Of Options
Metatarsal Safety Shoes
This type of safety shoe is designed to protect the upper part of the toe from any kind of drop hazard. It is mostly used in those types of work where there’s a risk of falling objects. Metatarsal safety shoes deliver internal and external protection to your feet. (For example, these types of safety shoes are appropriate for construction sites or work with heavy machinery.)
Electric Hazard Safety Shoes
Electric hazard safety shoes are intended to deliver high resistance against electric shock for the workers who work in a high voltage electricity area. These types of safety shoes are highly recommended for the workers who are involved with electricity, wiring, circuits, etc.
Safety Toed Safety Shoes
Safety-toed safety shoes are the most common design of safety shoes. These types of shoes come with a special coating around the toe area. The manufacturer uses special capping in the toe position to ensure the safety of your toe. (These types of shoes are appropriate for the people who work in factories, mills, and any other places involving heavy machinery.)
Steel Insole Safety Shoes
If your work is involved with riding bikes or driving heavy vehicles etc., then steel insole safety shoes are highly recommended. These types of shoes provide excellent comfort and stabilize movement while shifting your feet. It protects your feet from bone and joint problems.
Metal Instep Safety Shoe
When you work in a place where you need to deal with pointy and metal objects, securing your feet is a must to avoid injury. In such types of workplaces, metal instep safety shoes are the safest option to protect your feet. (These types of safety shoes are great for the workers who work in industrial units where they need to deal with sharp tools, glass, machinery, etc.)
Gumboots are recommended for wet and muddy workplaces. It also protects the workers from acid showers. Besides, its 13-inch to 15-inch high shaft gives you protection from knee to toe. (These types of shoes are appropriate for the workers who are involved with cleaning works, fisheries, etc.)
No matter where you’re working, nothing comes before your safety. So, if you’re working in a hazardous environment, wearing the right safety gear is a must to protect yourself. You need to deal with sharp tools, falling objects, and stripping on the ground if you’re working on a construction site or industry.
Therefore, it’s needless to say the importance of wearing safety shoes to protect your feet from any potential risk. Choose the right safety shoes according to your work and stay cautious at your work.