Dip your toe into safety footwear

Workers across all industries are putting themselves at risk by wearing footwear that is not appropriate for their work environment according to a warning from workplace equipment supplier Slingsby.

As part of the Personal Protective Equipment at Work Regulations 1992, employers must provide workers with suitable footwear if there is a risk that cannot be eradicated through other controls and precautions.

Lee Wright, marketing director at Slingsby, said, ‘Choosing the right footwear is a crucial decision because as well as being comfortable, it must protect against potential hazards and all types of environmental conditions and we regularly visit workplaces where employees could improve both their health and safety simply by changing their footwear.

‘For less rugged safety footwear, leather remains the material of choice because it’s durable, water resistant and very robust. However it can be heavier and less breathable than nubuck or nylon mesh style safety trainers. These are lightweight, comfortable and are particularly popular for indoor job roles that offer dry conditions and minimal risks from puncture wounds.’

Lee added, ‘Other key footwear features can include slip-resistant soles, insulation to protect against the cold and ankle protection, which is often good for people who are on their feet all day. Finally when it comes to size, while regular footwear can soften and expand over time, steel-toe caps make footwear far less flexible, so they need to be a good fit from the beginning.’