Choosing The Right Shoes To Ensure Your Safety At Work

hose poses hazard in workplaceWorkplace safety is dependent on a wide range of rules, regulations, hazard reduction and elimination efforts and much more. The particulars of ensuring a safe workplace can differ, especially when it pertains to the various jobs that people have to do. The steps needed to create a safe workplace in an office will differ from the steps needed for a manufacturing plant. Wearing suitable attire is an important part of the overall safety of individuals in the workplace as well. Wearing proper attire includes the necessary headgear, face and eyewear, clothing, gloves, and shoes, along with any specialized personal protective equipment needed to mitigate risks from hazards.

In this article, we’re simply going to focus on footwear, and discuss the proper. It has been recorded that approximately 75% of people in the U.S, suffer with foot pain, due to wearing shows that had an improper fit. About 120,000 work-related foot injuries are related to these stresses. In Canada, these rates are similar.

Finding the right shoes to wear on the job may seem easy enough, but choosing the wrong shoes puts you at risk of injury. Here are some of the things you should consider in order to get optimal footwear for your job.


Consider Your Daily Job Duties and Job Requirements

What are some of the key tasks that you frequently do on a daily basis? Does it involve lifting or moving a lot of equipment? Is there a risk of heavy objects being dropped on your foot, or your foot accidentally getting jammed in a tight space? Do your daily job duties require you to move to different areas of the workplace frequently, or do you stick to one area for most of the day? These are a few questions that you should be asking yourself when picking out the right type of footwear. For instance, if your employer says your job requires steel-toed footwear, but you know that you’re going to be walking around a lot every day, you may want to consider wearing lighter steel-toed shoe, rather than traditional steel-toed boots which can be heavy and cumbersome.


Consider Your Comfort

If your feet feel uncomfortable, or in pain in your footwear, that is your body’s way of telling you that your footwear isn’t providing the kind of support to your feet that your body needs. Ignoring this is a sure way to develop lingering issues in your feet, legs, hips and lower back. When trying on new shoes or boots for work, experiencing a small amount of discomfort is normal since the insoles haven’t formed to the shape of your feet. Instead of worrying about that, be sure to pay attention to the overall fit of the shoe or boot. It should be a snug fit on your foot, but not so tight that it puts pressure on any point of your foot, or squishes your toes together. If your foot feels like it moves around too much inside the shoe or boot, then try moving down a half size to see how that fits.


Consider The Support They Offer

Work footwear should be strong and offer enough support to limit stress on the bones of your feet, your ankles, knees, hips and lower back as you conduct your daily job duties. If footwear doesn’t offer enough support, then added stress can be put on these areas of your lower body as they compensate to deal with any additional weight your body needs to bear, or force that your body needs to exert. This leads to stress-related injuries which can start small, and gradually grow until they become quite painful. It is common for workers to push through mild discomfort and pain if they think they can bear it, however this can result in a reduced level of concentration at work as they tend to focus more on managing their pain and discomfort than the task they are doing. This leads to a higher probability of an accident occurring causing a more serious injury. Make sure the work shoes you choose can offer your feet some strong support.


Consider The Grip

Slips and falls are still very common ways to injure yourself at work. Workplaces with smooth walking surfaces throughout, or even with some areas that have slipping hazards require footwear that can maintain a good grip as you walk over them. If you are trying a new pair of work shoes or boots, try and find a smooth surface and try a small kick on it with the bottom of the shoe or boot, or apply a little bit of force (both forwards and backwards) with the sole to see if it grips the surface well.


Choosing the right footwear for the job has a number of things to consider. Between meeting job requirements, having the right fit, level of support and grip, there are a number of boxes to check before getting the right shoe or boot for you. With all of the options that are out there, this can take some time and effort to get that perfect pair. This is time and effort well spent, as having the right footwear will save you from potential health issues down the road.

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