April 10, 2017
Foot related injuries are generally considered an issue for those who work in hazardous environments such as construction or mining; however, other seemingly less dangerous jobs can also give rise to situations where foot injuries can occur. Injuries can be caused by slips and trips due to unsuitable footwear, as well as stress related injuries to the feet, ankles, knees, hips and spine caused by shock impact, hard surfaces, poor supporting, or incorrect fitting footwear.
Choice of footwear should be based on the types of hazard(s) present, the task for which their wear is intended, and the working environment including climatic and surface conditions.
Risk assessment associated with determining foot protection requirements should include:
- Materials handled or used by the worker
- Risk of objects falling onto or striking the foot
- Materials or equipment that might roll over the foot
- Sharp or pointed objects that might cut the top of the foot
- Objects that may penetrate the bottom or side of the foot
- Possible exposure to chemicals including fuels, oils, corrosive or irritating substances
- Possible explosive atmospheres including the risk of static electrical discharges
- Risk of damage to sensitive electronic components or equipment due to the discharge or static electricity
- Temperature, heat, cold, molten metal and water
- Surface conditions walked upon
While comfort, fit and style are all likely to have some influence over the choice of a work boot, the main function is protection. Here we take a look at a few of the key elements of protective footwear.
SELECTING THE RIGHT FOOTWEAR
There are a number of materials used for creating outsoles that are long-wearing, slip-resistant and protective. Having an understanding of each of the options can assist in making a more informed decision:
The choice of steel or composite toe caps depends on the potential hazards encountered, e.g. electrical, cutting, and the suitability of the toe type for these hazards.
Safety footwear, both steel toe caps and composite toe caps, should meet the impact and compression requirements of AS/NZA 2210.3:2009, providing appropriate toe protection for the majority of workplace environments.
Penetration resistant insole:
Insert designed to reduce the risk of sharp objects penetrating the sole and causing injury. Made from ceramic coated fibres or steel, it extends protection to 100% of sole surface whilst being lighter and more flexible than steel midsoles.
Insert specifically designed to protect the metatarsal bones in the foot. Insert can be a steel plate or more commonly a PORON pad which provides more flexibility and is lighter weight, ensuring free movement and comfort, but is still extremely tough.
Blackwoods stocks a wide range of work boots from the world's leading suppliers, helping to keep your feet protected and comfortable.