According to a recent study, 25 percent of disability applications worldwide are due to injured feet. Accidents on the job happen, but when foot injuries can leave you unable to work for months at a time, employees and employers alike suffer. The financial liability this causes is another reason why more employers are starting to view safety shoes as an absolute necessity.
Of course, there are some industries that need to protect their employees’ feet more than others. People who work in construction or with heavy machinery, for example, are more prone to foot injuries. If you’re worried about dropping heavy equipment on your feet, boots and shoes with a protective toecap are a good investment. The toecap acts as a protective barrier for the upper part of the feet. Or if you’re a first responder who relies upon speed and efficiency to get people help, having a slip-resistant shoe can keep you on your feet when someone needs it most.
There are also shoes that are designed to protect the ankles by providing additional support. Anti-vibration soles and slip-resistant soles are on the market right now as well. However, for a slip-resistant sole to be officially deemed “non-slip,” there are industry standards to meet. In the carwash industry, for example, slip-resistant shoes must meet an industry minimum standard value of 0.5 for wet and dry surfaces, and a low value of 0.3 for contaminated surfaces, such as oil, grease and soap.
It may seem like common sense to protect your feet, but there are still many employers out there that aren’t making safety shoes a requirement. But the proof is out there – for example, foot injuries have decreased by 60 percent in Canada since safety shoes for manual workers because mandatory.
If that’s not enough, safety shoes also save companies big bucks. Per a study done by the 2016 Liberty Mutual Research Workplace Safety Index, same-level falls were the second most significant cause of workplace injuries – and they cost the United States approximately $10.17 billion.
Even if you don’t have a job where there’s soapy water all over the floor, investing in slip-resistant, durable, and comfortable shoes can help keep you safe from a variety of unexpected work – and life – hazards.
Lauren Hogan, [email protected]