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.
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.