Your Feet at Work
Productive workers depend on their ability to walk and move about safely, with ease and comfort.
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 increased risk of foot injury. You can do a lot to prevent injuries by keeping your feet healthy and following safe work practices.
According to the National Safety Council, in any given year, there are about 120,000 job-related foot injuries, one-third of them toe injuries.
In addition to following the same basic foot care guidelines for all people, when you are on the job be sure to develop safe work habits and attitudes. This includes wearing protective footwear when appropriate. The National Safety Council also reports that only one out of four victims of job-related foot injury wear any type of safety shoe or boot. The remaining three either are unaware of the benefits of protective footwear or complain about it.
Work shoes are available in many shapes and have unique features and materials designed for specific occupations and uses. Thick leather boots with steel toe boxes are designed to protect your feet. Boots with varying degrees of traction are also available.
The American Podiatric Medical Association offers the following guide that matches specific occupational hazards with work footwear:
Falling and rolling objects, cuts and punctures
Steel-toe safety shoes; add-on devices, such as metatarsal guards, metal foot guards, puncture-proof inserts, and shin guards.
Footwear with synthetic stitching and made of rubber, vinyl, or plastic.