When it comes to safety shoes, the protection against special risks is an important issue. There is, in fact, Safety shoes for special risks made to protect the wearer’s feet from particular dangers, like heavy objects falling on the toes, slipping, falling and so on. Such footwear is called personal protective equipment, and it is considered essential gear in many workplaces.
In order to find the right type of protection for your feet according to the place where you work, you will have to assess the dangers and establish which ones of the special risks are the ones your feet take (read this article to go deeper in this topic). Then, you will have to select the type of safety shoes or boots that offer the right protection for you.
Safety footwear may not seem vital for safety in a workplace, just like goggles, helmets or protective gloves; therefore, if you have any doubts regarding the protection against special risks of safety footwear, do not hesitate to read this list of the advantages of using them.
- 1 Safety shoes for special risks: list of protections
- 2 Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from falling objects
- 3 Safety shoes for special risks: Puncture protection
- 4 Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from special electrical risks
- 5 Safety shoes for special risks: Protection against slipping and falling
- 6 Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from fatigue
- 7 Safety shoes for special risks: Other types of protection
- 8 Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from bad weather
Safety shoes for special risks: list of protections
Feet injuries can be debilitating, with subsequent waste of working time or difficulty in performing a task. Wearing safety shoes or boots can help you prevent injuries of many types deriving from special risks. The protection is brought in the following ways:
Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from falling objects
When workers carry heavy material or work in dynamic environments, where many users, vehicles and machines operate contemporarily, the special protection assured by safety footwear may make all the difference. Protective footwear equipped with a toecap, for example, can effectively prevent crush injuries to the feet. But we can also mention safety footwear with metatarsal protection (marked “MT”, for instance), which protect not only the toes, but also the instep. Besides, there are two types of metatarsal protection: internal and external
Safety shoes for special risks: Puncture protection
Safety shoes with sturdy outsoles and thick materials, especially for who those who work in construction sites, can ensure top protection, where safety footwear with soft soles may not be enough. Moreover, safety shoes and boots can be equipped with puncture-resistant plates marked PR, that prevent the perforation of the outsole, thus avoiding feet injuries due to nails or other sharp objects.
Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from special electrical risks
Electricity is a source of risk in a workplace. Workers could suffer electric shocks or accumulate static electricity. According to the kind of job, electrical isolation EH or antistatic properties SD may be necessary. Those are two very different things, and characterize two very different types of footwear.
Wearing the right safety footwear, in places where the build-up of static electricity on the body represents a danger, greatly reduces the risks, thanks to the antistatic (or conductive) properties of this kind of shoes. Such shoes reduce the amount of static electricity that accumulates on the body.
Safety shoes for special risks: Protection against slipping and falling
Slipping and falling can happen at any workplace. Companies can adopt measures to reduce such dangers, but wearing the proper safety shoes can provide better protection against these special risks.
Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from fatigue
For workers who at work are standing all day, especially on hard surfaces like concrete, fatigue can become a serious problem, that can lead to diseases. However, this can be avoided by wearing the proper safety footwear. Safety shoes or boots that provide adequate shock-absorption and sufficient support for the plantar arch can fairly reduce fatigue.
Preventing excessive muscular effort will also help to protect yourself from musculo-skeletal disorders, like chronic low back pain.
Safety shoes for special risks: Other types of protection
• IMPACTS ON THE INSTEP AREA: metatarsal protection “MT” is required, consisting in a piece of hard plastic or soft shock-absorbing material such as “Poron” or “D3O”. The protective material is placed on the upper part of the footwear, from the toecap to almost covering the tongue and laces. The protective piece is not removable, and is normally placed in the external part of the footwear, although the number of products with metatarsal protection placed in the inner part is growing.
• WET FEET DUE TO WATER SPRAYS: waterproof footwear is required in this cases. It is footwear equipped with a water-resistant upper and with seams that resist to water penetration from sprays but not to immersion or long-term exposure to water and other liquids. If the exposure to water sprays is going to be a lot, then a good waterproof safety shoe that has waterproof membrane like Goretex, Outdry or Sympatex is the best choice.
Safety shoes for special risks: Protection from bad weather
It is well known that cold can cause injuries and diseases, like hypothermia, and those dangers should never be underestimated at work. Those who work outside, in winter, are at risk, as well as those who work in moist or refrigerated environments.
Besides, cold can worsen some less known work-related injuries. For example, Raynaud Sindrome is a disease which can turn the fingers white, because of bad bloodstream. This condition, related to the vibrations caused by the use of power tools, gets worse when the body is exposed to low temperature. In certain cases this disease can also affect the feet, so that keeping them warm and cozy, along with other precautions to keep the whole body warm, is important.
Not all safety shoes are waterproof or heat/cold-insulating, so not all safety shoes can protect from cold, rain or snow. Therefore, you should make sure to choose products equipped with the proper protection and materials. Generally, the footwear containing fur, Thinsulate or other cold-insulating and water-resistant materials can help you protect yourself from low temperatures and bad weather.
Safety shoes for special risks: Conclusions
I hope this list will help you to find the right kind of safety shoes for special risks for your needs, and to be more protected at work. This is a short list of the most common risks your feet can take at your workplace.
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