If you work in a rough condition or with heavy equipment or chemicals, safety work boots are a must. As you know, more than 20% of disabling workplace injuries happen due to accidents involving the feet? These include sprains, twisted ankles, crushed toes, punctures, and lacerations.
You might have spent hundreds of dollars on your work boots, but are you sure they’re worth every penny? Ask yourself a question before investing your hard-earned money in a work boot – Does your work footwear have these safety standards?
The right pair of work footwear for you will depend entirely on a few different factors like the type of job you’ll be doing while you wear safety boots, what kind of environment you are working in, and whether or not you need special care and attention due to medical condition.
It’s essential to take these considerations into account when looking for agood pair of boots. Some design elements and materials used can be great for one job but can prove to be dangerous for another.
When purchasing safety footwear ensure the following qualities have been applied to stay safe from the hazards at work:
Fit and comfort of the work boot are most vital as it is not just accidents that cause foot injuries. Wearing ill-fitted boots for a long time can cause injuries too. So, you must buy the shoe that fits you right.
Here are some tips that will help you find the right fit:
- Midday is the best time to try on new boots as your fit swell up during the day.
- To ensure the footwear is comfortable, walk in the store.
- Make sure the boot has toe room, don’t expect boots to stretch with wear.
- Try on new boots with the socks that you wear to work.
- Lace-up the footwear entirely.
Capacity to Withstand Weight
The most common hazard that happens in the workplace is falling or dropping objects onto the foot. According to AS/NZS 2210: 2000 – a standard that governs protective footwear, for those who work in heavy industries like mining, agriculture, waterfront, building and construction, the safety footwear must withstand 200 joules.
Work boots should be able to withstand 100 joules for light industries such as light engineering, transport, storage,and communication.
The most popular materials used in work boots are leather, man-made leather, nylon, rubber, and composite materials. Every material used has vitalpros and cons, so it can be overwhelming to choose among them.
No matter what material you choose, you should make sure it protects you from all possible hazards and keeps you comfortable and dry while you work.
Steel Toe Cap
The steel toes boots were introduced to reduce the severity of injuries that may occur within the workplace. Traditionally, the toe cap was made of steel, and the newer version is made of non-metallic materials.
However, the debate is still on whether metallic or non-metallic caps provide better protection. Most people prefer steel toe cap in non-metal variety as they are easier to use around metal detectors and do not transit heat and cold. Also, they do not conduct electricity and are lighter than steel.