Taking the Right Steps to Selecting Safety Footwear for Work. Part 2

In the earlier post ‘Taking the Right Steps to Selecting Safety Footwear for Work. Part 1’ covered some of the considerations on how to select safety footwear to ensure you and your colleagues are kept safe from potential workplace hazards. Choosing the appropriate protective footwear to meet the hazards of your job can help prevent injury and keep you comfortable during your work hours. Below is brief overview of the features and functions of safety footwear attributes:

Discover more regarding the features and function of your Safety Footwear

Discover more regarding the features and function of your Safety Footwear

  • Toecap: Safety footwear doesn’t necessarily start and end with the toecap but it is a good place to begin a review of the different footwear features. Toecap footwear can be split into two main groups – metal and non-metallic, i.e. composite, regardless of material both versions are designed to meet EN standards. The composite materials tend to be plastic which makes the boots or shoes lighter and being non-metallic they do not retail the cold.
  • Tread: Slip resistant footwear protects workers from workplace slips which can lead to bruising, sprains and possible back problems. The nature of slips can differ depending upon the environment and the cause of the slip, e.g. grease on the floor, over polished floors and spills etc.
  • Consider the Tread: When looking at slip resistant footwear consider the tread pattern, especially if to be used, on wet surfaces. The sole should offer maximum contact to the floor surface and allow the user a feel for the conditions underfoot.
  • External Warnings: A well run business will have procedure in place to warn and minimise the risk of slips and trips with wet-floor-signs, floor cleaning products and entrance matting etc as well as slip resistant shoes.

Purchasing safety footwear for the workplace can become a cumbersome task if you let it become one. There are quite a few elements to consider, from the task the user will need them for, how comfortable should they be, satisfying a number of different specialists in the workplace and obviously ensuring that above all else they are completely safe to use. It’s no good buying basic footwear if your workers will be in extreme conditions with extra risks.

We hope this and the previous article has helped you if you are looking to purchase Steelite Safety Boots for your workplace. If you have a specific requirement and you’re still not 100% sure on what you should be buying, give our friendly customer service team a call Wray Bros today on 0151 709 2271. They are always happy to help and will be able to fully advise you on which direction your next steps should take.

Taking the Right Steps to Selecting Safety Footwear for Work. Part 1

Walking in the wet, climbing irregular surfaces, handling heavy machinery, falling objects, and slippery floor surfaces, exposure to electricity or even sharp objects on the floor are just a flavour of some of the hazards our feet have to contend with depending upon your workplace and daily responsibilities.

The Employers Responsibility – A Few Simple Steps for the Right Work Boots

Step 1 – Choose a Good Supplier: When you go to a supplier to purchase footwear for work purposes they should be able to help you. A reputable supplier will review suitable footwear to narrow down the options based upon your job requirements. The supplier should provide guidance on what safety footwear suits different work environments. So if you’re in engineering you’ll have vastly different requirements to someone working in food or manufacturing.

Whether your role requires the use of non-metallic footwear, i.e. for airport use, or need comfort for outdoor duties or durable footwear for industrial work etc there are a few considerations to choosing the right safety footwear

Whether your role requires the use of non-metallic footwear, i.e. for airport use, or need dry, comfortable footwear for outdoor duties or durable footwear for industrial work etc there are a few considerations to choosing the right safety footwear

Step 2 – Assess the Tasks at Hand (or feet): Ultimately, a risk assessment of the workplace and the job in-hand is where the process should begin. By understanding the level of protection required and the potential hazards the job role entails will help select the right safety footwear. The type of material used underfoot can make a difference, for instance footwear with shock absorbing qualities are ideal for workers who are on their feet for much of the day. Other soles can protect from heat, puncture and cuts.

Step 3 – Satisfy all Relevant Staff: Within a typical organisation the selection of safety footwear will collectively involve different people that each needs to be satisfied. For instance, the Health & Safety Officer will want to review the suitability of the footwear, the purchaser will ask about price and availability and obviously the user will want to make sure the footwear is comfortable and fits correctly.

Step 4 – Comfort is Important: It is important to note that new safety footwear should not be uncomfortable, neither should you adopt the thinking they get more comfortable once they get ‘worn-in’. A comfortable person will automatically perform their job with greater ease, flexibility and happiness. So pick your work boots based on safety first but with a nod to comfort and the long term benefits that brings with it. Another aspect often overlooked and that is breathability. Many users often look for waterproof footwear but always appreciate the fact feet produce a lot of moisture of their own accord. Footwear that offers good breathability helps with foot hygiene, comfort and stops feet getting wet.

Look out for part 2 of the ‘Taking the Right Steps to Selecting Safety Footwear for Work’ article. In the meantime for more information on how to find suitable industrial safety shoes for you and your colleagues please feel free to contact Wray Bros. Our customer service team will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance, either over the phone on 0151 709 2271 or face-to-face at our Merseyside Trade Counter.

Safety Footwear, Price, Brand and Your Expectations

An earlier article ‘Behind Branded, Good Value and Cheap Workwear’ highlighted the fact that once branding is taken out of the equation you get what you pay for when choosing safety workwear. Especially if the workwear meets your requirements and lasts long enough to provide real value-for-money then job is done. The same observations can also be levelled at workplace footwear.

Heavily branded safety footwear isn't always an indicator of quality. Discover the other considerations that will help make an informed purchasing decision!

Heavily branded safety footwear isn’t always an indicator of quality. Discover the other considerations that will help make an informed purchasing decision!

Obviously, the power of branding has a say on an items ticket price. For example, looking at safety footwear, there is always that question do buyers associate a recognised, fashion brand coupled with price as an indicator of product quality? If you are cost-conscious perhaps you should consider four points towards making an informed purchase:

  1. Price
  2. Product specification
  3. The EN standards the footwear meets
  4. The job the item is required to do

Ultimately, fashion-brand prices aside, you do get what you pay for. Wray Bros has noticed a recent change in attitudes to price.  There was a time when cheaper the better was the request. As budgets get tighter the thinking has changed to consider the frequency of replenishing stock.  The initial outlay may be more but some buyers have found it better value to look at the lifespan of their workwear purchases by buying quality, rugged items fit-for-purpose rather than on price alone.

One aspect the buyer should consider are the EN standards a garment or safety boot meets is an indication of the standard the product is manufactured to meet and is not an indication of the durability of the item.  There is a duty of care of the user to look after their workwear. A high vis jacket fresh out of the pack will state that it is fully certified and tested to standards such as EN ISO 20471/EN471 & EN343 etc. but if the jacket is mistreated daily, left covered in dirt, grime and everyday soilage then obviously those visibility standards would be compromised.  The same is true of safety boots, safety shoes, safety wellington boots and safety trainers.

For a common sense approach to value-for-money safety footwear we are on-hand with advice and wholesale prices to help make you look good. For more information and prices on safety footwear visit the Wray Bros website or why not pop-in to the trade counter to see the protective clothing and safety footwear range?

Further reading

Behind Branded, Good Value and Cheap Workwear

We all wear clothes at home and at work, well hopefully most of the time we do! Whilst we are not all experts in industrial workwear and personal protective equipment (PPE), we do all have a fair idea of what looks good on us and what feels comfortable for us to wear.

Balancing these factors is a careful consideration to make, so how do you know what you are getting for your money when purchasing workwear? You get what you pay for in most instances and if you buy from a reputable workwear manufacturer, such as Beeswift for safety footwear, Portwest for outdoor workwear and Premier for hospitality uniforms, you can be assured that you are buying quality, robust fabrics that offer real value-for-money.

We have noticed customers move from purchasing the cheapest workwear items to look for product quality and something that will last them longer

We have noticed customers move from purchasing the cheapest workwear items to look for product quality and something that will last them longer

Sometimes it isn’t that simple however. There are different price points within a work clothing range and the scope of pricing might not be that easy to deduce whether the product itself uses raw materials which are ‘good, better and best’. The prices might instead reflect the different features for each product within the range, so for instance some work trousers may include zipped side pockets or pockets in the kneepads, whilst others do not.

So how should you choose your workwear?

You do get what you pay for in the end – and if it fits your specific requirements and lasts, the job is done.

Wray Bros provides a wide range of safety workwear for your requirements as an individual or an organisation. Our team understands that what you wear must meet specific safety requirements for your specific tasks at hand. We also appreciate that you must also be comfortable to be able to perform your duties correctly, and with a smile on your face.

For more information on how to find value in your staff uniforms and work clothes please feel free to contact our customer service team who will be more than happy to offer advice and guidance, either over the phone or face-to-face at our workwear trade counter in Liverpool.

Further Reading

How to Stay Safe and Look Good with Work Tunics
Choosing Chef Wear: Surviving the Heat of the Kitchen with a Nod to Brand Integrity
The Benefits of Personalised Workwear