Protective Footwear for Physical Labor Workers

All of us know to avoid stepping on sharp objects.  Simply looking out for what (literally) lies ahead helps to prevent serious injuries. This is harder for people who work in the construction field.

Foot injuries in this kind of industry is common, the two main categories are injuries from impact, compression, and puncture, and injuries from slips, trips, and falls. According to the Bureau of Labor Statistics (BLS), more than 89,000 (43%) of private industry non-fatal occupational injuries and illnesses involved injuries to the ankle or foot. As a consequence, the Occupational Safety and Health Administration of the US Department of Labor determined workers in this field must wear protective footwear in the following situations (source: OSHA):

  • When heavy objects like barrels or tools might roll onto or fall on an employee’s foot;
  • Working with sharp objects such as nails or spikes that could pierce the soles or uppers of ordinary shoes;
  • Exposure to molten metal that might splash on feet or legs;
  • Working on or around hot, wet or slippery surfaces
  • Working when electrical hazards are present

Protective measures include the use of metatarsal, toe, foot, and shin guards; safety shoes; or simply leggings. There are several kind of safety shoes, such as electrically conductive shoes, electrical hazard shoes, and foundry shoes. Appropriate equipment is available for every trade.

For more information about protective footwear have a look at https://www.osha.gov/Publications/osha3151.html#footandleg and https://ohsonline.com/Articles/2016/01/01/If-the-Shoe-Fits.aspx.

As always, don’t hesitate to ask your podiatrist for further information on how to take care of your feet, whether you are involved in physical labor or not.

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