Why Is Correct Safety Footwear Mandatory and How Is It Acquired?

Posted by albertareid on March 13th, 2012

While people often take care to buy protective clothing, they tend to neglect the footwear as something which does not deserve any attention. However, the rising incidences of foot injury occurring in workplaces has acted like a wake-up call for most employers as also the legislators to the effect that now wearing safety shoes is a must for all employees. Although acquisition of safety footwear entails a sizeable amount of investment initially, its consequences in form of reduced injuries and enhanced protection for the feet totally justify its incorporation.

All of us have been gifted with only one pair of feet and although they can be replaced by artificial limbs on getting damaged, there is nothing which comes as close to the original. Being bereft of safety shoes, this pair of feet is likely to endure a lot of torture, some of the common forms being cuts, lacerations, burns and fractures. There are times when injuries might assume a more serious nature like severed digits, crushed feet and sprains all of which could have been avoided by wearing safety footwear. This realization is particularly strong when something severe like amputation or electric shock completely incapacitates a human being.

So in what way do safety shoes offer protection and are these any different from normal footwear? Safety boots are very unlike normal shoes because they are specifically fortified to withstand increased pressure especially in case of an accidental fall of a heavy object which would easily puncture a normal shoe. In addition, safety footwear is built to be resistant against elements like fire, toxic chemicals, oil and water. This serves the dual purpose of providing protection to the wearer’s feet and ensuring higher productivity as also cutting down of long term expenses incurred as a result of injuries.  

There are different types of safety shoes and each is built in accordance to the unique requirements of the workplace in which they are meant to be used. If it is the top of the feet which is in need of protection and particularly the toes, steel-toed boots with polycarbonate fiber toecaps would be perfect. Safety footwear which provides protection from sudden impact and can absorb shocks can be acquired in form of safety trainers and boots as these are fitted with anti-perforation midsoles. Then there are ranges fitted with waterproof leather, breathable inner linings and anti-static rubber soles.

An important guideline to bear in mind while purchasing safety shoes is to choose a variety which is best-suited for the purpose that it is supposed to serve. For example, safety footwear which is meant for light industrial use should not be bought for construction work as this kind of work requires heavy boots. Likewise it is imperative to be aware of the safety standards as well so that the right kinds of boots are purchased as per the need of the situation. Ignorance in this regard would invariably lead to accidents and injuries.

Other yardsticks which should be kept in mind while purchasing safety shoes are size and functionality. It is a universal fact that comfort in terms of footwear comes only by wearing the right fit – too tight or too loose shoes are not only uncomfortable but also dangerous. At the time of buying safety footwear, the first priority is purpose and only when this is satisfied that the style factor can be considered. Hence, even though the shoes might be the most awful looking pair in the world but if it offers incomparable protection then it deserves preference over everything else.

There was a time when people used to question the need for safety shoes but nowadays these are a mandatory requisite by law. It is in a number of ways that safety footwear varies from normal footwear and hence should be chosen with care.

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