Protect Your Feet
Your ability to use your feet
safely, with ease and comfort, is vital if you are to remain a valuable
and productive worker.
When your job requires
you to stand on your feet for long periods, work in potentially
hazardous areas or with potentially hazardous materials, you have some
risk of foot injury. However, you can do a lot to prevent injuries by
keeping your feet healthy and following safe work practices.
In any given year, there
are about 120,000 job-related foot injuries, one-third of them toe
injuries, according to the National Safety Council. You can't take your
feet for granted! And your concern for them cannot be divided; it should
continue off the job, as well as at work.
There are a few simple things you should do:
- Bathe your feet daily; dry them thoroughly.
- Check your feet frequently for corns, calluses,
- Keep your feet warm.
- Trim your toenails straight across, slightly longer
than the end of the toe.
- Prevent foot problems by visiting your podiatrist
as part of your annual health check-up.
- Wear protective footwear when using lawnmowers,
chain-saws, and moving heavy objects.
Protective Footwear Is Essential
- It is important for you to develop safe work habits
and attitudes. Some things to remember:
- Be aware of the hazards of your job and the proper
protective measures to take.
- Don't take chances or unnecessary risks. Take time
to do your job right.
- Be alert. Watch for hidden hazards.
- Be considerate. Watch out for other workers'
- Follow the rules. Don't cut corners. Use your
equipment as specified.
- Concentrate on the job. Inattention can lead to
- Pace yourself. Work steadily at a comfortable
- Keep your work area clean and your tools in their
Safety shoes and boots
protect your feet, help prevent injuries to them, and reduce the
severity of injuries that do occur in the workplace.
Only one out of four
victims of job-related foot injury wear any type of safety shoe or boot,
according to the National Safety Council. The remaining three either are
unaware of the benefits of protective footwear or complain about it.
Safety footwear is comfortable,
flexible, stylish, and still provides protection from injury.
The foot is the most valuable part of your body
subjected to injury in industry. Because of the many potential work
hazards, it is important that you discuss with your supervisor the
safety shoe, boot, or other protective equipment that you need for your
HAZARD: falling and rolling objects, cuts and
If Your Feet are Injured at Work
PROTECTION: steel-toe safety shoes; add-on devices:
metatarsal guards, metal foot guards, puncture-proof inserts,shin
HAZARD: chemicals, solvents
PROTECTION: footwear with synthetic stitching, and made
of rubber, vinyl or plastic
HAZARD: electric current
PROTECTION: shoes or boots with rubber soles, and heels,
no metal parts and insulated steel toes
HAZARD: extreme cold
PROTECTION: shoes or boots with moisture- or
oil-resistant insulation, and that can repel water (if this is a
problem); insulated socks
HAZARD: extreme heat and direct flame
PROTECTION: overshoes or boots of fire-resistant
materials with wooden soles
HAZARD: high voltage
PROTECTION: shoes with rubber or cork heels and soles,
and no exposed metal parts
HAZARD: hot surfaces
PROTECTION: safety shoes with wooden or other
heat-resistant soles; wooden sandals overshoes
HAZARD: sanitation contamination
PROTECTION: special plastic booties or overshoes; paper
or wood shower sandals
HAZARD: slips and skids (from wet, oily shoes
with wooden soles or cleated, surfaces)
PROTECTION: non-slip rubber or neoprene soles; non-skid
sandals that slip over shoes; strap-on cleats for icy surfaces
HAZARD: sparking (from metal shoe parts)
PROTECTION: safety shoes with no metal parts and
HAZARD: sparks, molten metal splashes
PROTECTION: foundry boots with elastic sides or (that
get inside shoes) quick-release buckles for speedy removal
HAZARD: static electricity
PROTECTION: shoes or boots with heels and soles of cork
PROTECTION: lined rubber shoes or boots; rubbers or
shoes of silicone-treated leather
Report any injury to your foreman or supervisor
promptly for necessary first aid. Then see your podiatrist if further
treatment is recommended. Proper foot care improves your efficiency and
keeps you on the job.
Your podiatrist is a specialist who diagnoses and
treats foot disorders and injuries medically and surgically. By visiting
your podiatrist regularly, you can insure for yourself a lifetime of