In the construction industry, safety-toe footwear should meet the ANSI standard Z41.1-1967.
Selecting the proper footwear plays a large role in protecting your feet while on the job. There are many options available and one should select footwear that is comfortable, yet protects their feet. High-cut boots can protect feet and ankles from sparks, metals, chemicals, etc. that one might be exposed to during the course of construction. Boots can also serve to protect ankles from twists and rolling while on the site. Select approved footwear that is also comfortable as a worker will be in them all day walking, climbing ladders, etc. Always lace and tie shoes properly. Steel-toe shoes and boots should be worn by all employees on a site. If electrical conductivity is a concern, ensure that the toe is made from a material that is non-conductive but still provides impact protection.
To lengthen the usage time of your footwear, apply a water-resistant protective coating. When the shoes become worn down, their effectiveness decreases and should be replaced.
Slips and Trips
In selecting appropriate footwear, assess the nature of the job and the possible conditions. Keep walkways and work areas clean and clear. Remove all items that may impede walkways and/or be a hazard to the feet. Be aware of all manhole covers, if scope of work allows, avoid such areas. If surfaces are wet, use the appropriate means to eliminate the hazard. Slip-resistant soles can prevent a fall on wet surfaces. To reduce the risk of slipping, periodically clean mud and other buildup from the soles of boots.
When walking around the jobsite, be attentive to changing levels of walkways. Be sure that you can see the path that you are walking. If an area has poor visibility, provide means for it to be well-lit. Exercise extreme caution when walking near excavation sites. Walk at the safest distance possible and avoid edges that may cause a slip or fall.
Identify the potential hazards that may puncture a foot (e.g., nails, screws, tools, debris, etc.). Regularly clean to remove any materials that may puncture a foot while walking. Train employees on appropriate and approved footwear. Steel mid-soles can also be used to protect against such hazards.
While working on the jobsite, be aware of all items that may fall and cause injury to feet. Be aware of building materials that may fall as you cut, shape, remove, etc. Secure all tools and materials appropriately to prevent objects from falling. Steel-toe shoes and metatarsal guards can better protect feet from these hazards as well.
WCF Insurance Safety Department
NOTICE: This guide may make reference to the Occupational Safety and Health Administration (OSHA) regulations; however the guide is not legal advice as to compliance with OSHA or other safety laws, codes, or regulations. Compliance with OSHA and other safety laws codes or regulations, and maintaining a safe work environment for your employees remains your responsibility. WCF Insurance does not undertake to perform the duty of any person to provide for the health or safety of your employees. WCF Insurance does not warrant that your workplace is safe or healthful, or that it complies with any laws, regulations, codes, or standards.