Foot Protection for Hard Working Construction Workers
By: The Working Man
Your feet are always in danger of injury when you are working in
construction. Your feet can be punctured by nails or other sharp
objects, struck by falling tools or building materials, run over
by moving vehicles, caught in cracks or holes, burned, or even
shocked by electricity.
Your feet can also be injured, along with your legs and back, by
wearing the wrong type of footwear or shoes or boots that don't
provide the proper foot support. Statistics show that in 2006
nearly eight thousand people had foot or toe injuries in the
construction industry in the United States. That is about 5% of
the total injuries in construction during that period.
In the United States as in many other countries, it is the
employer's responsibility to determine the hazards on your job
site and to determine what personal protective equipment (PPE) is
needed. In many cases your employer may choose or be required to
provide you with the approved personal protective equipment,
including foot protection, which is necessary for that particular
job site or your job assignment.
In the USA, OSHA, the Occupational Safety and Health
Administration, requires that in regulated industries such as
construction, all footwear purchased after July 5, 1994 comply
with the American National Standard for Personal Protection-
Protective Footwear established by the American National
Whether your employer provides your footwear or you buy your own,
it is still the responsibility of your employer to make sure that
your footwear complies with OSHA regulations. If you do not live
in the USA, your own country may have very similar standards.
If you purchase your own boots & footwear for your construction job,
there are a number of health and safety issues you should
consider as you choose which brand and style of shoe is best for
First, of course, is whether there are OSHA standards that the
shoe or boot must meet. Ask your employer for a brochure or
checklist that can help you make the right choices.
Secondly, make sure that the footwear you choose is comfortable
when you are sitting, standing and walking, that there is plenty
of toe room to allow for your feet swelling a bit under weight
and heat, and that your heel does not slide at all when you walk
in the laced up shoes. High-cut boots are a good choice in many
situations, since they provide you with extra ankle support as
you walk on uneven surfaces and carry heavy weights.
Last but most important, your personal protective shoes or boots
must be able to help to protect you from the hazards that are
specific to your particular job site and assignment, whether you
will encounter electrical wiring, heat, dangerous chemicals, hot
weather, or simply nails and other sharp objects.
There are many good manufacturers and brands of work shoes and
boots that are suitable for construction workers. Elsewhere on
this website you will find reviews of many of them, and a search
of the telephone Yellow Pages or the Internet should find you
many retailers to choose from.
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