The importance of safety shoes in the workplace cannot be overestimated. A startling 25% of all disability claims, the world over, relate to foot injury. In the USA alone over 100 000 foot injuries occur in the workplace every year, with an estimated price tag of $1 billion.
The crippling cost and distress to employees of foot injuries, has prompted most nations, including the UK, to implement strict mandatory policies which enable effective protective strategies in the workplace. Fortunately these measures have paid huge dividends as can be seen in the Canadian construction industry where foot injury was reduced by a whopping 60% when protective footwear was introduced.
Although we often associate foot injury with dangerous work environments; blisters, flat feet, dropped arches and aches and pains, associated with long periods of standing, all take their toll and can lead to unproductive staff and burgeoning absenteeism.
Interestingly enough it’s not lacerations, amputations, crushings and punctures of the toes or feet which claim the most victims, it’s ‘slips and trips’ which account for the highest number of work-related injuries across all industrial sectors, accounting for 2 million sick days per year!
Common injuries sustained during the work day, when no workplace footwear is provided, include:
• Crushed feet, broken bones and amputations of toes and feet. These types of injuries are prevalent in construction, logging, longshore, fishing and oil rig operations.
• Punctures to the soles of the feet. Any employee working with nails, wire, staples and scrap metal is vulnerable.
• Cuts, lacerations and severed toes can be the result of working with chain saws, rotary mowers or other machinery without adequate protection.
• Burns resulting from chemical and molten metal splashes or other flammable and explosive materials are frequent in the mining and manufacture of heavy metals and the production of chemicals.
• Electric shocks can be caused by static electricity or direct contact with the source. Unprotected construction workers and electricians are often victims.
• Sprains, fractures and broken bones can occur literally anywhere where there’s a slippery floor, cluttered walkway or simply inadequate lighting. Teachers, shop assistants and office workers are not excluded from foot injury!
Today, there is a diverse range of UK safety footwear which provides guaranteed protection in the workplace, adheres to European safety standards and is attractive too.
• Steel-toed boots designed to protect the top of the feet. Polycarbonate-fibre toecaps are as efficient.
• Safety boots and shoes with impact protection. Dual density impact absorbing soles and padded polyurethane ankle collars, for additional support and protection, do the trick.
• Safety trainers and shoes with puncture protection. Flexible anti-perforation midsoles are effective.
• Protective footwear with anti-static rubber soles, waterproof leather uppers and breathable inner linings.
Remember to identify the potential hazards in the work place before selecting protective footwear for your staff. Then simply choose from a wide range of affordable, comfortable and, fashionable, UK safety footwear!