Category Archives: Safety

Safety Shoes – 8 Ways They Protect You

When you think about shoes for the workplace, heavy-duty footwear such as steel toe boots may come to mind. These boots, which have reinforced toes to protect the feet from hazards such as heavy objects, are important personal protective equipment (PPE) at many industrial and construction worksites.

Many kinds of shoes exist that can make jobs safer, though, not just steel toe boots. Other types of boots and shoes can provide traction, arch support and other safety benefits. To find the right foot protection for the jobs in your workplace, you’ll need to do a hazard assessment and determine what kinds of risks—such as slipping and falling or sharp objects—pose a threat to your employees’ feet. Then select shoes or boots that offer the right protection.

Shoes may not seem as critical to workplace safety as protective eyewear or gloves, but footwear provides many benefits. If anyone in your workplace doubts the value of investing in footwear, offer him or her some of the ways safety shoes can keep workers safe.

Functions of Safety Shoes

Foot injuries can be debilitating, resulting in time away from work or difficulty performing a job. Wearing safety shoes or boots can help prevent many foot injuries in the following ways.

1. Protect from Falling & Flying Objects

When workers carry heavy materials or work in dynamic environments where many people, machines and vehicles are operating at once, falling and flying objects are common hazards. Protective shoes like steel toe boots can effectively prevent crushing injuries to the feet.

2. Protect from Punctures

When workers could step on sharp objects or be struck by sharp objects from above, shoes with heavy-duty soles and thick materials surrounding the foot offer the best protection. At construction worksites, for example, many sharp objects could be in someone’s path. A soft-soled shoe might not provide enough protection.

3. Protect from Cutting Hazards

Machinery that is sharp or contains moving parts can pose cutting hazards. Workers in the logging industry, for example, face dangers from chainsaws. If a chainsaw were to come in contact with someone’s foot, the result could be catastrophic. Logging boots—which are required by OSHA under standard 29 CFR 1910.266(d)(1)(v)—made with cut-resistant material will protect those workers who use chainsaws. These boots are also waterproof or water repellant and support the ankles.

4. Protect from Electrical Hazards

Electricity poses a variety of risks in the workplace. Workers could face potential electric shocks or accumulate static electricity, which can lead to electric sparks in certain environments.

To reduce the chances of an electrical accident, non-conductive footwear made from leather, rubber or other materials that don’t conduct electricity can be worn. In locations where the build-up of static on the body poses a hazard, anti-static or conductive footwear can be used. These options reduce the amount of static that accumulates on the body, preventing static electric sparks.

5. Prevent Slips, Trips & Falls

Safety Shoes, Footwear, Foot Protection

Slips, trips and falls can happen in any workplace and result in many accidents annually. Businesses can take steps such as implementing housekeeping measures and installing anti-slip floor tape to reduce the risks of these mishaps. Proper footwear can also provide additional protection against slips, trips and falls.

Shoes with appropriate traction can help prevent falls on the same level in slippery environments. They can also prevent falls from ladders, which are all too common when people don’t wear shoes with proper treads.

Footwear that fits well and feels comfortable can also improve balance, which will help prevent slips, trips and falls, too.

6. Prevent Fatigue

For workers who stand all day, especially on hard surfaces like concrete, fatigue can be a real problem. Muscles in the feet as well as the legs, back and other parts of the body grow tired, and the situation can be worsened when employees don’t wear appropriate footwear. Shoes that provide adequate cushioning and arch support can make people more comfortable, which alleviates strain on muscles. This means employees will grow fatigued less quickly. Employees who are less fatigued will be more alert, so they will likely do their jobs more safely and more efficiently.

Preventing muscle strain will also help protect against musculoskeletal disorders such as chronic lower back pain, too.

7. Prevent Burns

Burns from fire can happen in the workplace, but so can burns from chemicals and even from common workplace materials like cement. Footwear made from durable materials can prevent burns from chemicals splashes, molten metal splashes and other dangerous substances that could injure the skin on the feet.

8. Protect from Extreme Weather

We all know that cold weather can lead to injuries such as frost bite and hypothermia, and those dangers shouldn’t be overlooked in the workplace. People who work outside in the winter are at risk, as well as employees who work in wet or refrigerated environments.

Furthermore, the cold can exacerbate some less known workplace injuries. For example, Raynaud’s Syndrome is a disease where the fingers can turn white from poor blood flow. This condition, related to vibration from power tool use, is made worse when employees are exposed to cold temperatures. In some cases, this disorder can impact the feet, too, so keeping the feet warm and comfortable in conjunction with other measures for keeping the body warm is important.

Not all footwear is waterproof or insulated to provide protection against the cold, rain and snow, so be sure to select shoe options that are made from appropriate materials.

Don’t Forget the OSHA Regulations

Safety Label, PPEAs you can see, footwear for the workplace offers many kinds of protection for workers. For those reasons alone, it’s worth making a foot protection program part of your workplace. You should also remember that in many work situations protective footwear is required.

OSHA standard 29 CFR 1910.136(a) states:

The employer shall ensure that each affected employee uses protective footwear when working in areas where there is a danger of foot injuries due to falling or rolling objects, or objects piercing the sole, or when the use of protective footwear will protect the affected employee from an electrical hazard, such as a static-discharge or electric-shock hazard, that remains after the employer takes other necessary protective measures.

Make sure your business follows the requirements and selects the appropriate safety shoes. Doing so will improve safety and comfort, which will make your employees happy, too.

To learn more about selecting work boots for industrial workplaces and what options are available, read Work Boots 101. You can also see a review for work boots at Safety Blog News.When you think about shoes for the workplace, heavy-duty footwear such as steel toe boots may come to mind. These boots, which have reinforced toes to protect the feet from hazards such as heavy objects, are important personal protective equipment (PPE) at many industrial and construction worksites.

Many kinds of shoes exist that can make jobs safer, though, not just steel toe boots. Other types of boots and shoes can provide traction, arch support and other safety benefits. To find the right foot protection for the jobs in your workplace, you’ll need to do a hazard assessment and determine what kinds of risks—such as slipping and falling or sharp objects—pose a threat to your employees’ feet. Then select shoes or boots that offer the right protection.

Shoes may not seem as critical to workplace safety as protective eyewear or gloves, but footwear provides many benefits. If anyone in your workplace doubts the value of investing in footwear, offer him or her some of the ways safety shoes can keep workers safe.

 

To learn more about selecting work boots for industrial workplaces and what options are available, read Work Boots 101. You can also see a review for work boots at Safety Blog News.

 

Information: Real Safety

Filled Under: Safety Posted on: September 21, 2015

Types of Safety Clothing

When classified by the coverage of anatomy, articles of clothing become easily identified. The following table lists articles of clothing and the degree of coverage they offer. Most of the garments mentioned below are available for any of the above functions with the appropriate construction. Some notable exceptions include belts and joint pads, which are primarily used for ergonomic support; socks, which rarely function beyond keeping the user warm and comfortable; and pressure suits, which are reserved for environments with extreme radiation, biohazard, chemical, and temperature risks. Safety gloves are represented elsewhere on IHS GlobalSpec, and leather work boots with steel support and a rubberized sole is appropriate for most PPE applications.

Features of PPE

Breakaway

Breakaway garments have weak-closing binds such as Velcro or snaps. If the garment becomes ensnared in machinery the item will become unbound, releasing the wearer from potential mechanical risk.

Canine

Working canines require much of the same protection as their handlers, and such protection is provided by uniquely-manufactured dog vests. Improved visibility and puncture/ballistic resistance are some of the most

prominent reasons to outfit canines with PPE, as well as to prevent confusion of the animal as a pet.

Selecting canine safety clothes  Selecting k9 PPE

Images credits: Flickr Hive Mind; K-9 Armor

Cooling

Cooling items of PPE incorporate breathable and/or moisture wicking fabrics to keep the bearer comfortable while working in warm environments.

Hydration Pack

Garments with an internal bladder sewn between fabric layers hydrate the wearer by the use of a hose with mouthpiece near the collar of the item. This keeps the wearer hydrated during isolated or extended procedures.

Selecting hydration pack camelbak PPE

Image credit: Global Industrial

Labeling

In situations involving many workers in various positions, it may be helpful to have PPE labeled by name or job title. This is especially important in emergency incident command where officials may need to be easily recognized to coordinate efforts.

Laundering

Many items of PPE are eligible for typical machine washing, but some properties of the PPE may be adversely affected by the detergent or washing process. Most clean room, biohazard, radiation resistant, and anti-contamination clothing is meant for one-time wear. Materials for arc flash protection, heat and fire resistance, welding, chemical resistance, and static control have strict specifications for laundering.

LED Illumination

PPE with integrated circuits powering LEDs ensure the best possible visibility—superior to that of typical bright-colored, reflective clothing.

Radio Interface

In PPE headgear that may disrupt auditory cues, radios may be integrated or supported to allow workers to communicate directly. Communication may be one-way (directive) or two-way (discussive).

Information by GlobalSpec(http://www.globalspec.com/learnmore/manufacturing_process_equipment/safety_personal_protective_equipment/safety_clothing)

Filled Under: Safety Posted on: September 21, 2015