The Importance of Safety Boots
There’s a lot of information out there on the use of the right personal protective equipment, or PPE, on construction and contracting jobs. The right PPE can mean the difference between a good day at work and losing a limb. Most people think of protective equipment as gloves, goggles, hard hats or bio-suits. Not enough contractors consider footwear as important protective clothing. Learn why choosing the right safety boots is so important for your liability and safety concerns.
OSHA requires that protective footwear be worn by any employee who will be affected by adverse conditions that pose a risk of foot injury from piercing, falling objects, electrical hazards or other safety concerns.
The standards set by OSHA for protective boots and shoes include detailed criteria on what qualifies. Protective footwear must pass standard test methods for foot protection, specifications for performance requirements and national standards for personal protection. This footwear must be constructed to be in compliance with federal standards in order to qualify. Footwear that does not comply can land you with an OSHA violation should an accident or injury occur.
Finding the right footwear requires you to assess the potential hazards on an individual job site. In many cases this might include steel-toed boots, but different jobs have different requirements. Traction may be an issue, as may arch support, depending on the nature of the job and the job site. Almost every job site in the construction industry will require steel-toed boots, since heavy equipment and materials are always used. Other concerns, however, may also come into play.
What risks will your workers face? Are falling objects a danger? How about slipping? Is there a danger of puncturing the foot on sharp objects? Are loose laces going to be a problem? How about cutting hazards from machinery with moving blades? If your workers are going to be dealing with electricity, insulated shoes may be necessary for the job.
There are concerns for safety footwear that many might not consider. Workers who stand all day can eventually develop injuries from fatigue, but shoes with the proper support can help to mitigate this problem.
Weather and environmental conditions are also an all-too-often overlooked concern when selecting footwear. If extreme cold weather is going to be encountered, the right shoes with an insulated lining can keep feet warm and prevent frostbite. Likewise, fireproof shoes may be needed for situations where direct flame or extreme heat will be encountered. In fact, burns can occur when there is no flame nearby at all. Certain chemicals can be dangerous, and even exposure materials like Portland cement can in some cases cause burns.
In addition to safety boots, carrying the right contractors insurance will help to protect you from accidents and injury that occur on the work site. Carrying the right insurance coverage is vital to the success of your business. If you would like more information on contractors insurance or a review of your current policy, we are here to help. Give us a call today!