If you spending long days on a job site, wearing the wrong boots can make your feet feel sore, your back ache and your legs ache. It's crucial to choose the best safety boots for long days on the job. The good news is that finding high-quality safety footwear is easy once you know what to look for. Here are some key things to keep in mind.
Why safety boots are an important part of PPE
Safety is the most important thing in your workplace.
In Australia and New Zealand, safety shoes must meet the requirements set out in AS 2210.3, which governs personal protective equipment (PPE) in these two countries. Standard tests include the toe test for impact and compression, the upper test for tear and tensile strength, and the sole test for slip resistance and adhesion test. If the shoes are not certified, do not use them as they might be prone to falling.
According to Safe Work Australia, the government agency responsible for developing a national policy on work health and safety, foot injuries are a significant workplace hazard in Australia. In the 2019-20 financial year, there were 8,990 claims for serious foot injuries, resulting in a median compensation payment of $12,700 AUD.
The use of safety footwear can significantly reduce the risk of foot injuries in the workplace. A study by the University of Wollongong found that workers who wore safety boots had a 60% reduction in the risk of foot injuries compared to those who did not wear them. The study also found that workers who wore boots with steel toe caps had a 66% reduction in the risk of toe injuries.
In Australia, the requirements for safety footwear vary depending on the industry and the specific hazards present in the workplace. For example, workers in the construction industry are required to wear safety boots that comply with Australian Standard AS/NZS 2210.3:2009, which specifies the requirements for impact resistance, penetration resistance, and slip resistance.
Overall, the use of safety footwear is critical in preventing workplace injuries, particularly in industries where foot hazards are prevalent. Employers in Australia have a legal obligation to provide suitable personal protective equipment, including safety footwear, to their workers, and workers have a responsibility to wear and maintain it properly. Adhering to these requirements can help reduce the incidence of workplace injuries and promote a safer and more productive work environment.
Choosing the right type of boots
Depending on the hazards of your job, consider additional safety measures such as antistatic or penetration protection. Consider the hazards that may occur in your job because oil-resistant or water-resistant boots are suitable for most jobs.
Safety boot manufacturers have many types of boots and it is important to choose the right model for your job. Lace-up boots have better ankle support, while boots and side-zip boots are easier to put on and take off.
Mid boots are great for carpenters and stonemasons who work with their feet but don't need the full support of ankle boots. Lace-up ankle boots offer greater ankle support and comfort, making them ideal for extended work at the workplace. High heels provide reliable ankle support for workers working in environments such as docks, oil rigs or underground mines.
Consider comfortable work boots
Comfort is also important, as safety shoes absorb twice the wearer's body weight with every step. Therefore, choosing padded and padded boots can reduce fatigue and increase productivity.
The skin must be firm yet supple to allow less acclimatisation time and to keep the office open for a day. Look for boots that have been approved by the Australian Physiotherapy Association, as they recognise that the technology used in work shoes can protect the wearer from stress-related injuries.
Finally, consider durability, because low-end shoes cost less, but they don't last long. Choose boots with better build as they will be worth the money in the long run. The wrong shoes can be a serious safety hazard if they start to slip, do not fit, or are not suitable for the environment.
Look for boots made of good materials, upper and outsole attachments according to AS 2210.3, and a long manufacturer's warranty. Look for boots designed for specific occupations rather than safety shoes.
When buying work shoes, be sure to try and get advice from a safety shoe specialist. This ensures you wear a good pair of work shoes with all the safety features you need to get the job done.
Remember, purchasing safety shoes will not only increase your comfort but also keep you safe while you work.
In conclusion, choosing the best safety boots for long days on the job is crucial to protect oneself from workplace hazards, reducing the risk of workplace injuries and increasing productivity. Safety footwear is an important part of Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) and must meet industry-specific safety standards, like AS/NZS 2210.3 in Australia, for impact resistance, penetration resistance, and slip resistance. The use of safety footwear can significantly reduce the risk of foot injuries and toe injuries, as shown in the University of Wollongong study, which highlights the importance of adhering to the safety requirements by employers and workers. Choosing the right type of boots that cater to one's job hazards, like antistatic or penetration protection, is equally important, along with considering the boots' comfort and durability. Getting expert advice from a safety shoe specialist and buying boots with a manufacturer's warranty can ensure that workers wear comfortable and safe shoes with the necessary safety features for the job. Purchasing and maintaining safety shoes will not only improve the worker's comfort but also create a safer and more productive work environment.
How do I know if my work boots are the right size?
To ensure the best fit, measure your feet at the end of the day when they are at their largest. Use a sizing chart and consider the shape of your foot, including the arch and width. When trying on boots, wear the socks you will typically wear on the job and walk around to ensure there is no slipping or pinching.
How often should I replace my work boots?
The lifespan of work boots can vary depending on the work environment and level of use. However, it is generally recommended to replace work boots every 6 to 12 months or when the soles start to wear out. If the boots are damaged or no longer provide adequate protection, they should be replaced immediately.
Can I wear work boots in the office?
While work boots are traditionally associated with job sites and construction work, many styles are suitable for office wear as well. Look for styles that are sleek and stylish, and pair them with tailored trousers or a dress for a professional look. However, check with your workplace dress code policy first to ensure work boots are acceptable.
How can I maintain my work boots?
Proper maintenance can help extend the life of your work boots. Clean them regularly with a damp cloth and mild soap, and allow them to air dry. Condition the leather periodically to prevent cracking and drying out. Replace worn or damaged laces as needed. Store them in a cool, dry place away from direct sunlight.