Safety boots: put your best foot forward
Your health and safety is the most important thing to you and your company. A company’s productivity is significantly hindered if there is a lack of safety and security. Although safety boots are not exactly hot items being shown off on the runways at fashion week, they are the most important shoes in the shoe department. To ensure your safety, don’t just pick up any ol’ boots labeled “Safety Boots.” This buying guide is designed to help you understand your needs and make sure those needs are being met. When it comes to safety, it’s important to put your best foot forward by making an informed decision.
Why exactly are safety boots important?
A lot of important jobs, especially with today’s technology come with a risk of injury. Safety boots are designed to protect a worker form a wide variety of injuries. The most common injuries encountered at the work place are: compression, impact and puncture wounds.
If you are at risk of being injured at work your employer should tell you exactly what kind of boots you will need to lessen the likelihood of ruining your precious feet.
Know your needs
There is a wide variety of safety boots to choose from, so it’s very important to know your needs. If you don’t know exactly what you need or what you’re looking for, shopping can prove to be a nightmare. Familiarise yourself with your working environment and know the potential risks. The best way to find this out is by asking your employer or anyone in HR. These are the people to tell you exactly what you should be looking for. It is part of their job to know the exact working conditions you will be operating under.
Once you have a sense of what you’re looking for familiarise yourself with what’s out there.
Steel toe safety boots
Yep! You guessed it. These are the boots that contain a piece of steel over the toes. The steel toe cap will block the blow if heavy objects fall on your foot. Additionally this also prevents your toes from being punctured, crushed or cut by sharp objects. Since steel toe boots are quite stiff, it’s suggested you wear them frequently in and out of the work place. It’s very important that you are safe and comfortable.
Steel toe boots are not recommended if you work around or with electricity. They are also not recommended if going through a metal detector is part of your morning work routine. If you are subject to either of these issues, it’s strongly recommended that you opt for composite toe boots.
Composite toe safety boots
A composite toe boot is a much lighter alternative to steel toe. Composite boots are much lighter as they do not contain any metals within the boot. Composite toe boots substitute a toe cap made of Kevlar, plastic and carbon fiber for a metal one. Because of the different materials, composite boots are much lighter than steel toe. Composite boots are extremely practical in comparison with steel toe, but they are less strong. If you choose composite toe, make sure you’re safe with the impact rating compression rating.
Alloy toe safety boots
Alloy toe boots can be up to a whopping 50% lighter than steel toe safety boots. Their lightness is attributed to the fact they are made from a titanium and aluminum combination of lightweight metals.
Questions you should ask yourself
When selecting your safety boots, it’s important to ask yourself the following questions:
1. What kind of materials will I be handling?
2. If materials in question fall on my feet, will it prove detrimental to my health?
3. Will I be exposed to extremely hot or extremely cold temperatures?
4. Will I be exposed to extremely hot or extremely cold liquids?
5. Are my boots high enough or tight enough to protect me from potentially dangerous liquids from seeping in?
6.Is the terrain I work on uneven and do my boots provide enough ankle support?
Although it may be unpleasant to think about, it’s important to go through worst case scenarios to ensure you are prepared for whatever life throws at you. Although your employer should provide you with a thorough hazard assessment, these are still important things to reflect on.
Safety footwear symbols explained
Once you have thought about these hazards, you can consider which of the following symbols you will need to look for on your safety boots: