When it comes to choosing your safety boots, many criteria that are often overlooked must be taken into account. Wearing adapted safety boots can help reduce the risks of injuries and help make the work safer. Therefore, it is important to know how to recognize the risks associated with the workplace as well as the technologies and certifications available to protect the worker against these risks. It is also essential to know the different boot components that are required for the proper protection of the foot, as well as when to replace a boot that is worn out.
Risks found in the work environment
In a new workplace, the assessment of the environmental risks must be performed in order to acquire adequate protection against these hazards. Is there a risk of falling objects that may result in an impact on the foot? Is there a risk of exposure to corrosive or irritant substances, or to extreme heat that may cause serious burns? Is the surface on which people walk slippery or uneven? Here are some sample questions that must be answered to avoid numerous problems.
Components, technologies and certifications to consider
Once the hazards are known, it is possible to purchase safety boots with the specific features to protect against these risks and make the boot well suited for the workplace. Consider and evaluate if a protective toe or puncture-resistant sole is required. It is also necessary to evaluate if the outsole is adapted to the working surface. An internal metatarsal protection (Interguard®) or external metatarsal protection (Real FlexTM) can also be added when required, for example in welding shops or smelters.
Also the safety boot industry is constantly innovating. These innovations may increase the footwear performance level in certain environments. For example, the VibramTM Arctic Grip® outsole will offer improved performance on wet ice. The Gore-Tex® technology is making the product waterproof with increased breathability.
When is the right time to replace your safety boots?
The useful life of a pair of safety boots depends on its usage. However, keep in mind that there are certain elements to verify as they signal that it’s time to purchase new boots to ensure optimal foot protection. First, if the leather is cut, dry or damaged, or if the seam becomes unstitched, the boot will be less resistant, and the product must be replaced. The same goes for the outsole as when it’s worn; it can become slippery and hazardous. Finally, if the protective toe is uncovered due to repeated friction, the safety footwear must be replaced because it provides less protection and could move.
In a nutshell, in light of this new information, it is possible that many criteria we don’t always think of must be taken into account when purchasing a safety boot to ensure that the product is suitable to the environment in which it will be used. It is the responsibility of everyone to minimize injuries and ensure optimal comfort and protection.