Safety Footwear and its importance
THE IMPORTANCE OF THE SAFETY FOOTWEAR IN THE WORKPLACE.
Protective footwear or safety footwear is a type of special footwear used in different work activities that are used as personal protective equipment, designed to protect workers from different risks mainly destined to the protection of the toes, as well as contamination with chemical agents, electric shocks, falls and other risks. This type of footwear is regulated by the normative dispositions of each country.
Each profession has a specific type of footwear, such as doctors or nurses often wear clogs, while waiters wear more specific slip-resistant footwear. 25% of all work disabilities worldwide are for foot injuries, a figure that forces us to think that the importance of safety footwear at work should not be underestimated.
These injuries are associated with dangerous environments or in which it is necessary to stand for a long time. Blisters, flat feet, calluses, malformed bows, and persistent pain: all these ailments can induce low productivity and generate increasing absenteeism.
Curiously, the most frequent injuries are not lacerations, amputations, crushing or punctures in the toes, but slips and trips for not wearing non-slip safety shoes.
Types of safety shoes
TYPE 1 - Protective footwear for general use, referred to that footwear intended to be used in activities where the worker is not mostly exposed to risks of physical agents of mechanical action.
TYPE 2 - Protective footwear with toecap, referred to that footwear intended to protect the user's toes, due to the existence of risks of physical agents of mechanical action.
TYPE 3 - Dielectric protection footwear, referred to footwear intended to protect the user in areas where there is a permanent risk of electric shock.
TYPE 4 - Antistatic protective footwear, referred to that footwear that serves to discharge the static energy of the human body, which is basically generated by actions of the work that is developed.
TYPE 5 - Metatarsal protection footwear, basically consisting of footwear that has an integral component that protects the instep of the foot against certain types of direct impacts to the metatarsal.
TYPE 6 - Footwear for protection against the penetration of sharp objects towards the tip of the foot, which basically prevents the affection of the sole of the foot, caused by the direct incrustation of certain sharp objects that usually pass through the sole of the footwear.
TYPE 7 - Footwear with waterproof protection, referred to those designed to protect the user from the risk of filtration of liquids or fine dust to the internal part of the footwear.
► Injuries that can occur when the proper safety shoes are not provided are:
Sprains, fractures, and broken bones. They can occur anywhere there is a slippery floor, a congested hallway or inadequate lighting. Office workers are very vulnerable to these accidents.
Electrical discharges caused by static electricity or direct contact with the source without the use of the indicated safety footwear. Construction workers and electricians are frequent victims.
Broken cuts, lacerations, and toes can be the result of working with chainsaws and grass clippers without safety shoes.
Crushed feet, broken bones and amputations in the fingers and feet: frequent in construction, logging, fishing, and oil drilling operations.
Chemical burns and splashes of molten metal or other flammable and explosive materials. They are frequent injuries in mining, the manufacture of heavy metals and the production of chemical products.
The cost of these injuries is very high for companies, which is why strict policies are necessary to implement effective protection measures in the workplace. Recent analyzes indicate that in Canada foot injuries were reduced by 60% when safety footwear was introduced as a mandatory compliance measure.