Feet Have Many Enemies
When workers think of personal protective equipment (PPE), they often focus on hard hats, safety glasses and gloves. However, leg and foot protection is equally important and should not be overlooked. Workers can be exposed to leg or foot injuries from tasks, activities, or areas such as:
- Falling or rolling objects
- Exposure to hot substances or electrical hazards
- Walking on slippery or wet surfaces
- Walking on surfaces with sharp objects like nails
- Operating tools such as tampers or jack hammers
- Pouring, washing, or spraying chemicals or materials
- Lifting or working with heavy objects such as barrels
Basic steel toe or hard toe work boots should be considered when performing common construction activities such as lifting heavy objects. Steel or hard toe shoes must meet specific standards for protection.
In addition to toe protection, using some tools such as jack hammers and tampers may require the addition of metatarsal protection. Metatarsal guards protect the bones on the top of the feet.
Consider using foot protection designed for muddy, water soaked, or wet environments such as water proof rubber boots or boot covers and chest waders.
Boot covers or chemical resistant rubber boots should be worn when working with wet concrete or cement and similar chemicals.
Be sure to check that your books are labeled "slip and oil resistant" when walking on slippery or wet surfaces.
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