Obtaining suitable safety footwear in the market of today is not a problem. But before you get one you need to at first ask yourself why you need one and why are you planning to buy it. The reason why you should get footwear is because of the nature of your job; if your job is the type that puts risk to your feet, you must wear appropriate footwear. Before we explain the best shoe for the nature of your job, let’s first take a look at joint injuries that most engineers face at their various workplaces.
Footwear injuries that is common at the workplace
Common injuries at workplace are of two categories, and the first is trauma. An example of trauma is a situation where you step on a nail, or when you crush your foot on a heavy-duty truck. The other common workplace injuries are accidents that happen as a result of slippery, falling, or wrong positioning that lead to pains and fractures.
What you should know about safety footwear
- Make sure the shoe you are buying is a certified CFA standard Z195-14 protective footwear.
- Safety footwear helps to protect against an unexpected hazard
- It helps to protect your foot against places where there is potential for injury
How to choose the right safety shoe
Before you decide to settle for a particular boot, you must take note of some things, which are the followings
- Ensure you are choosing a shoe that will not allow objects to penetrate
- Choose the one that will not expose your leg to corrosive or irritating substances
- Select the one that will not expose you to sensitive electronic components
- Choose a shoe that will protect you from any material that can roll over the feet
- Choose boots that are about 15 to 21cm high. Shoes of these categories better protect your ankle against punctures and cuts; it must be a boot that can lace up.
- Choose shoes that have plenty of space inside them so you will be able to move your toes and be ready to wear an extra pair of socks.
- If it’s a laced up shoe type, ensure it adjustable at both the heel and ankle.
How to give your foot proper care and hygiene
How air circulates in your safety shoes is the primary factor that determines how it can be hygienically protected. Standard footwear is supposed to have at least these two primary qualities. It must be able to absorb heat or water and must have moisture-wicking qualities as ill-fated shoes may likely lead to calluses, corns, and even fungal infections. Try your best always to wear a waterproof protective coating so it can help extend the life span of your boot.
How long should a safety shoe last?
Sometimes you may not know that despite all the qualities that your safety shoe have, you still need to replace them. Remember that nothing lasts forever; you have to keep on investing your money on quality shoes that will allow you to do and concentrate on your job. Here are symptoms that will let you know why its time you change a particular safety shoe.
Check the shoe tires
For those that have cars, our car tire is one thing that we regularly check before embarking on a journey. The reason why we are so conscious is for no other reason than to be sure the car can take us from one point to the other. Similar thing happens to our safety shoes, the outer part of our shoe needs to be checked regularly against wear and tear so we can work with confidence without having to worry.
Don’t let the shoe do the talking
The moment the upper part of your shoes starts to separate itself from the lower part, it is called safety shoe talking. Once there is a sing to show that your footwear is beginning to have openings. It is a sign that it is time to buy another set. Aside it looking bad at your workplace, it is also dangerous, most notably in a fast-paced environment.
Can you find holes in your shoes?
No matter the condition, your shoes are not supposed to have holes. The reason we are saying this is because safety shoes are not fashion shoes but safety shoes. Small holes in a safety shoe can eventually become big and expose the user to a high risk of unsafe predicament. It is a good idea that you replace such boot the moment you notice a small whole.
Replacement is the final solution
Shoes don’t have an expiry date, which is why you have to take precautions and buy new ones. How often you will be changing your shoes depends particularly on your work environment, this is what determines if your footwear will have a long life span or not. However, research makes us understand that a regular and quality safety shoe is supposed to last for as long as between six to twelve months in an average work environment. Some may last longer than that which may be that there is an alternative to it, but the fact remains that every pair of safety shoe used will eventually be replaced.
HOW TO MAINTAIN SAFETY SHOES
If you want your safety shoe to last long, then there is a need to care about them. When you maintain your shoes, they will protect your toes adequately and last longer. Let’s look at the necessary rules to follow to have your safety shoes maintained.
- Ensure you follow the manufacturer’s instruction
- Make sure you remove materials that are not part of the shoes after use like mud, gravel
- Keep your shoes in a dry and warm environment and avoid keeping them in places that will expose them to heat; this can deform them.
- If you are using leather made shoe, always try as much as possible to maintain it by applying grease or other leather maintaining polish to keep them dry.
- Make sure you always clean them with water and any soap that will not cause damage nor destroy the quality of the shoe.
HOW TO CHOOSE SAFETY SHOE
Criteria of Selection
In a working environment where risks are prevalent, safety gears come in handy. Apart from focusing on safety clothes while working, protective shoes are also vital for your leg security. We always emphasize on the protection of our head and upper body and tend to forget our feet which are the reason we go to work.
Most of the time you may find yourself torn between design and safety, and this makes it impossible to choose the proper package. But, lucky for you, we have created a comprehensive article to guide you through on how to get the right safety shoe.
At the end of the guideline, you will be able to have a satisfying decision which ensures your safety and allows you to keep your style.
- Safety Certified
Safety shoes are vital in our working environment, especially those that involve a lot of risks. We are always aware of the risks we are exposed to, but to tend to ignore the situation. We are always ready to shield our upper body at any cost and often leave our legs exposed. Thus, the most susceptible part of our body to injuries and accidents are often our foot.
But with the right shoes for the specific job, you don’t have to worry about the well being of your foot. So, how do you choose Safety shoe? From the name, you are aware that you need it for safety. There are various brands of luxury shoes which look alike to protective shoes, thus you must be certain its protective shoes before buying.
The best way to confirm this is through ensuring the shoe is safety certified. And for this to be true, it has to have the safety markings. The markings indicate the protection feature the shoes is compost off, and also the working environment it’s applicable to. Generally, the shoes should have CSA Z195 Certification. Below are the various marking and their details:
- Green triangle:
This mark indicates the sole of the shoe is secured from puncture, the protective feature is rated Grade-1. And has the capacity to withstand up to 125joules of the impact. Therefore it is best for heavy work industrial environment. These include construction sites, Mines and any other industries with nails lying around.
- Yellow triangle:
This mark indicates the sole of the shoe is secured from puncture, with the protective feature rated as Grade-2. Thus it has the capacity to withstand up to 90joules of the impact. This makes it best applicable in light work industrial environments that require protection from puncture and the toes.
- A white rectangle, with an ‘Omega’ sign
This mark indicates the shoe sole is secured from electricity. This means the shoe is highly resistant to shock caused by electricity. It’s best in industries where accidents involving electrical conductor are prevalent
- A yellow rectangle that has an ‘SD’ letters in green including a grounding symbol
The mark indicates the shoe is secured from static discharge. Thus it’s best in industries where the workers can encounter static discharges.
- A red rectangle that has a ‘C’ letter in black and a grounding symbol
The mark indicates that the shoe sole has electric conductivity properties. It’s best in industries where the workers are susceptible to static discharge.
- A white rectangle that has a symbol of fir tree
The mark indicates the shoe secures you from chain saws accidents. It is best for workers who deal with tree harvesting, work in forest or milling industries.
- A blue rectangle
The mark indicates that the shoe provides protection to your toes but it lacks a protective sole. The protective feature is rated as Grade-1. It’s best in industries where your foot will not be susceptible to punctures.
- A grey Rectangle
The mark indicates that the shoe provides protection to your toes but it lacks a protective sole. The protective feature is rated as Grade-2. Best applicable in institutions and non-industrial jobs where your foot will not be susceptible to punctures.
Safety boots are applicable in different professionals, and with each profession having a specific shoe which serves the role best. Therefore, when selecting which type of shoe to buy, consider the risks your feet will be susceptible to.
Ensure the shoe has the capability to shield you from those injuries. For instance, below are some of the professions which are prone to accidents and the best guideline on how to select the right shoes for them:
- Construction site safety shoe
At the construction site, accidents are prevalent. This is because of moving lots of constructions material needed to complete the project. Most of the time, they are not usually secured well, thus slipping and falling off is common.
Yes, we always remember to cover our head but tend to forget about the vital part of our body. The feet, once they are hurt, you will not manage to report to work. Thus, a shoe that has the potential to shield your toes from heavy objects is best.
It should have the toe caps that can support heavyweight. Also, don’t forget about your ankles; at times the load may hit you from the side rather than the front.
Last but not least, the surface below your shoe. It should be strong enough to prevent punctures. And with the mention features, you don’t have to worry about your feet while working.
- Track drivers protective shoes
Truck drivers are usually involved with various loads, some of which are light while others are heavy. More often, they are engaged in the process of loading and offloading. Therefore such processes are prevalent to accidents due to load falling. Due to these, they should opt for general protection of their toe.
Thus the best choice, in this case, shoes with toe caps made of composite or steel. Also, it should be raised enough for ankle protection. You never know, a load could hit the foot from the sides. Therefore the shoes with such features are best for basic protection to track drivers and any other driving roles.
- Shoes for Catering
Working in the kitchen and using protective shoes may seem awkward. But, actually, it’s not, in fact, you need it. This is considering the multiple numbers of knives which are very sharp and tend to fall anyhow. A shoe with s strong toe cap is the best; it will secure you from being pierced by the knives or your toes being crushed by the heavy glass and metallic utensils.
- Shoes for carpenter
In a carpenter’s workshop, nails are found everywhere, controlling where they fall can be quite a challenge. At times they may be mixed up in wood remains, and this is quite dangerous for your feet.
Apart from accidents below your feet, there are also some which can occur above. The heavy tools you use may fall accidentally from the working surface. Thus the ideal safety shoe should have a secured sole from penetration and a strong tows cap to secure you from falling tools or objects
- Engineering Protective shoes
Electric engineers deal with high voltage of electricity and even charges, despite have protective clothes, some may forget about their shoes. An ESD boot or shoes is the option in this case.
It safeguards you from both electricity and ignition of materials which are flammable. For mechanical engineers, you should watch out for your toes with steel or composite based toe cap shoes.
Are the shoes you have selected effective in safeguarding you? Choosing shoes based on safety requires more than just touch and look. You need to examine the safety ratings and ensure they are legit.
It’s only through this that you will be certain that what you have gotten will serve the intended purpose. Below are some of the ratings that will come in handy when you are selecting the protective shoes for your profession.
SB Rating – offers safety at a basic level, thus safeguards mostly your toes.
S1 Rating – the safety includes Antistatic, Energy absorption and Oil resistant’s
S2 Rating – offers resistance from water absorption.
S3 Rating – secures your foot from penetration by sharp objects
S4 Rating – it secures your foot from liquids or fluids that may try to leak through
S5 Rating – it secures your feet from liquids or fluids that may try to leak through and also the sole is highly resistant to penetrating objects
So, when you are heading to get the right shoes for yourself, ensure you know these details well. Also, ensure you are familiar with the risks involved in your work. This will come in handy in ensuring you select the right shoe for the job.
How much am I expected to pay? This is one questing that rang in many people mind when buying these shoes. It’s only a few who end up with the right decision. The value has a big role to play when purchasing shoes. The best quality shoe may require you to sink your hands a little dipper in your pocket but it’s worth your last penny.
Going after inexpensive shoes can be costly in the long run. First, it will put your feet at risk, and if any accident may occur you will lose more than what you would have spent getting good quality and effective shoes. Also, poor quality tends to get worn out with time, causing you discomfort and at the same time exposing you to risk you were securing yourself from in the first place.
“You get what you pay for” Am sure you’ve had of this Cliché before. Thus, don’t make value the key reason when getting your protective shoes. You should instead consider quality and features that guarantee the safety of your feet.
Due to our regular busy schedule, we always tend to buy or get things in a rush. But this should not be the case for your protective shoes. Buying the right size of shoes takes time and requires you to be patient. This means you have to do it yourself.
The wrong size due to whichever reason will cost you both your comfort and safety. A smaller size will be too squeezed for your feet and may cause blisters, at the same time reduce the effectiveness of the shoes in securing you.
Larger shoes on the other end, it will be too big and may cause you too trip while at work. Therefore the perfect size is what you need. The size should guarantee your feet safety as well as comfort. Also, it should have some space enough to allow your feet to breathe easily and move without difficulties.
Also, when buying, do this during midday break from your job, at this time; your feet will be swollen and larger than morning time. This will ensure you get the extra space for your feet expansion through this, your balance is guaranteed.
- Between Comfort & Style, which one comes fast?
Due to the role these shoes play, comfort should be the key factor when selecting and buying the shoes. But don’t worry, with the current designs, you don’t have to choose between either of them. The designs have both exclusive styles and comfort.
Also, they are effective in their role. Therefore, you get to have both, giving you all the comfort and confidence you need while wearing. Some of the styles are full boot, Dress options, athletic and much more.
Therefore, considering the shoes might take some hours on your foot during working it’s important to feel comfortable while wearing. Below are some tips that will ensure the comfort of the shoe on your feet:
- The width of the shoes should fit your foot comfortably
- Due to long hours of working, it should be adjustable or have enough space to accommodate the feet swelling
- The shoes should have some space to allow your feet to breathe freely
- You should not feel a pinch on your foot while wearing.
- Your comfort can be boosted with a quality pair of socks
- If your feet get sweaty with time, you can resort to leather or moisture-wicking for comfortably.
- Do a trial of the shoe at the store before buying, get to walk around with it and test the comfort.
Always ensure the main factor remains safety when selecting the right package for protecting your legs. Styles should be the second choice, despite the availability when selecting the protective shoes.