How to Choose Your Safety Shoes
You depend on your feet a lot. Making sure that you take care of them is a high priority for any worker. This means choosing the right kind of work footwear for your occupation. Because, while a standard set of earplugs or safety glasses may cover a wide range of occupations and possible hazards, the right safety shoes may require a lot more consideration to make sure you get the right one.
Workplace foot hazards exist in many different forms. The best way to protect employees is to control these hazards at the source using engineering, work practice and administrative controls. When these controls are not feasible or do not provide sufficient protection, proper footwear personal protective equipment (PPE) must be used.
Footwear must be chosen based on the hazards at your site. For example, if you work in a place where you may be at risk of falling objects, choosing a boot based on ankle support isn’t addressing the appropriate risk. Steel-toe work boots are a great and traditional protection for several hazards on many different work sites, but are they the right choice for you? Taking the extra time to make sure you know just what you need could make a world of difference.
ASTM F2413, Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective (Safety) Toe Cap Footwear, covers minimum requirements for the design, performance, testing and classification of protective footwear. Footwear certified as meeting ASTM F2413 must first meet the requirements for impact and compression resistance. Then the requirements of additional sections such as metatarsal protection, conductive protection, electric hazard resistance, static dissipative protection and protection against punctures can be met.
Here are some of the most frequent potential hazards that require foot PPE. Take a look and see which shoes are made with those hazards in mind. You can also use our safety shoe selection guide to help identify shoes for your work needs.