Published by Rosie on September 26th, 2011 in Protective Clothing & Equipment
Foot injuries among people who work in labour orientated jobs is rife, with injuries costing companies expenses with time off, medical bills and even compensation! Some injuries or poorly fitting footwear (see Shoe Size Conversions) can result in debilitating and degenerative conditions of the foot which can put a person out of manual work for life and seriously jeopardise their quality of life! For this reason strict policies have been implemented which requires all staff working in areas of construction or possible risk to wear appropriate protective clothing and footwear. Thanks to these new guidelines, foot injury has been reduced by 60% in the construction industry!
However we also need to consider injuries which have been caused not through accidents, but through the wear and tear endured through poorly fitting footwear and long periods of standing. Common complaints include blisters, flat feet, dropped arches and aches and pains which can all take their toll and lead to under productive staff or staff not attending work at all!
Many accidents in the workplace caused by inappropriate footwear are actually due to ‘slips’ or ‘trips’ which actually account for the largest proportion of work-related injuries across all industrial sectors! Just think of how all these sick days and compensation claims can be reduced if only the footwear had had more suitable grips! Other common injuries caused by inappropriate footwear include;
- Cuts, scrapes and punctures to the soles of the feet caused through poor shoe soles when working with nails, wire, staples and scrap metal.
- Crushed toes and feet, broken bones and worse still amputations. These injuries can be very common in certain types of manual labour where appropriate footwear is not used. Logging, construction, oil rig operations and fishing are all areas for concern in terms of decent footwear.
- In workplaces where chemical and molten metal is prone to splashing, and where other flammable and explosive materials are used such as mining and in the manufacture of heavy metals or the production of chemicals, burns to the feet are prevalent without the use of proper footwear.
- In areas where chain saws, rotary mowers and other like machinery is used without the recommended footwear you can expect to see injuries such as cuts, lacerations and severed toes.
- Inadequate footwear can lead to electric shocks caused by static electricity or direct contact with the source which is a common injury or even fatality among construction workers and electricians.
- The most widespread injury of them all however has to be the sprain, commonly caused by trips, falls and slips in the workplace. Almost as frequent however are fractures and broken bones, all of which can occur anywhere where the floor is slippery, or where it has not been kept clear and free from clutter or has been lit badly.
There is no excuse for the lack of protective footwear as an employer. It is your duty to ensure that all your staff are safe and that their needs are catered to. With the diverse range of safety footwear and protective boots available today, you can be sure there is a solution which will provide guaranteed protection in the workplace and that will adhere to European safety standards. Before purchasing your footwear however, identify the potential hazards in the work place so that you can be sure that you’re purchasing the most suitable option.