Lace it up with care and wear the right pair!
How many hazards can you list that safety shoes protect against?
When it comes to PPE, we often talk about gloves for hand protection, FRC for flash protection, safety glasses and goggles for eye protection, ear plugs or muffs for hearing protection, and hard hats for head protection. Foot protection and safety shoes usually don’t get the same amount of attention.
Why are safety shoes important?
The basic hazards that safety shoes protect against include hazards from falling or rolling objects and puncture protection. Foot protection beyond these basic hazards may also be required. For example, foot protection against hazardous chemicals such as corrosives may be required or specialty shoes may be needed to protect against electrical hazards.
Safety shoes must meet the following requirements;
- Shoes shall either meet ASTM F-2413 specifications or be approved by the Health & Safety group;
- Shoes shall have composite or steel toe protection
- Shoes must have a discernable heel
- Shoes cannot have a porous upper, though porous construction above the ankle is allowable
- Sneaker or athletic shoe look-alike shoes are not allowed; and
- Low cut (not covering the ankle) or ankle high slip-on shoes are not allowed.
Safety shoes are required in areas where hazards may exist, such as process units, maintenance shops, oil movements and laboratory areas.
Like all PPE, safety shoes need to be worn securely (laced) and inspected regularly. Shoes no longer able to provide the protection and benefits noted above should be replaced.