Worksites are filled with hazards, and many are a direct risk to the feet. In fact, thousands of workers sustain foot injuries each year that range in severity from leaving them temporarily unable to work — at best — to permanently disabling them.
In 2015 alone, 53,530 private, state and local government workers sustained a foot injury on the job, according to the Bureau of Labor Statistics. Recovery time for each person totaled a mean of 10 days away from work.
The good news is, most foot-related accidents are preventable. Get the details on OSHA foot protection standards, so you can do everything possible to keep your team safe.
OSHA Standards for Foot Protection
OSHA requires employers to ensure each employee uses proper protective footwear when working in areas where foot injuries are possible. Some of the hazards that require protective footwear include falling or rolling objects, objects piercing the shoe sole, and when it will keep the person safe from an electrical hazard — i.e., static-discharge or electric-shock.
Strict guidelines are in place that dictate the criteria for protective footwear that must be worn. All footwear must satisfy the following standards:
- ASTM F-2412-2005: “Standard Test Methods for Foot Protection”
- ASTM F-2413-2005: “Standard Specification for Performance Requirements for Protective Footwear”
- ANSI Z41-1999: “American National Standard for Personal Protection — Protective Footwear”
- ANSI Z41-1991: “American National Standard for Personal Protection — Protective Footwear”
Footwear Selection Guidelines
Every work environment is different, so OSHA offers guidance to help you determine the type of protective footwear your team needs. Impact and compression projection is provided by footwear that meets OSHA’s ANSI Z41-1991 Standard, but if your team needs puncture protection, there are shoes that provide this shield. Additionally, some work areas call for metatarsal protection, while others require electrical conductive or insulation shoes.
Essentially, different hazards require the use of different types of foot protection gear, so take all safety concerns into consideration to determine what will work best for your team.
At Premium Staffing, Inc., we partner exclusively with employers who share this commitment. If worker safety is also your top priority, contact us to discuss a partnership. We’re here to connect you with Chicagoland talent who take OSHA guidelines seriously.